James' Journey to Jerusalem

Released 2004


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James' Journey to Jerusalem

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James' Journey to Jerusalem is a dramatic story about a young Christian man from Africa on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. James (Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe) is a member of the Entshongweni, a Christian tribe in Africa who chooses him to travel on a holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Israel. He begins his journey with an idealistic and naive view of his Holy Land, but as soon as James gets off the plane, he sees first hand that it is in reality much different. Suspected to be entering the country for less than admirable reasons, James is arrested and sent to prison, but later is "rescued" by Shimi (Salim Daw), who bails him out. Again, however, James' conception is corrected when he learns that Shimi's deed was motivated by his job finding hard laborers for the gritty Feda (Gregory Tal), and James is put to work. Rationalizing that he'll simply work off his debt for the bail, and them continue on his journey, he finds himself working as a gardener for Shimi's father Sallah (Arieh Elias), who takes a liking to the young idealistic worker, and in time begins to impart knowledge of his business methods on him. James begins to run his own racket, engrossed in a modern culture of Israel, thoroughly sidetracked from his original mission. Ra'anan Alexandrowicz directs this original and engrossing tale about the modern day distractions in an ancient Holy City.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    As social criticism -- not only of Israel, but of other affluent countries as well -- James' Journey is both potent and a little didactic.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Devastating and amusing.

  • 70

    Variety Derek Elley

    There's a fable-like quality to this first feature by documaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz that packs just as much punch as a more "serious," didactic movie while entertaining the viewe...

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