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Leaving Jerusalem by Railway (1897)
"Départ de Jérusalem en chemin de fer" (original title)

 -  Documentary | Short  -  1897 (France)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 387 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

A train, with a camera mounted near the front, pulls out of the Jerusalem station. It passes groups, first of Europeans, then Palestinian Arabs, then Palestinian Jews. Dress, hats, and ... See full summary »

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Title: Leaving Jerusalem by Railway (1897)

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A train, with a camera mounted near the front, pulls out of the Jerusalem station. It passes groups, first of Europeans, then Palestinian Arabs, then Palestinian Jews. Dress, hats, and facial hair are each distinctive group to group. Except for the station itself, the buildings visible in the background are ruins - no more than crumbling walls. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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railway station | See All (1) »

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Documentary | Short

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1897 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Juna lähtee Jerusalemista  »

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Interesting for its unexpected motion
3 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I watched this film on a DVD that was rammed with short films from the period. I didn't watch all of them as the main problem with these type of things that their value is more in their historical novelty value rather than entertainment. So to watch them you do need to be put in the correct context so that you can keep this in mind and not watch it with modern eyes. With the Primitives & Pioneers DVD collection though you get nothing to help you out, literally the films are played one after the other (the main menu option is "play all") for several hours. With this it is hard to understand their relevance and as an educational tool it falls down as it leaves the viewer to fend for themselves, which I'm sure is fine for some viewers but certainly not the majority. What it means is that the DVD saves you searching the web for the films individually by putting them all in one place – but that's about it.

With the usual descriptive title I had assumed this would be footage of a train leaving a station in the way that most of the Lumière films I had seen on this collection so far had been about a static shot of an action occurring. So it did actually make me go "oh" to see that the camera this time was on the item that was doing the action and pointing away from it rather than towards it. To the modern eye of course all we're looking at is a train leaving a station – and not even a particularly visually interesting station at that neither. However watched in context of the historical development of the media it is interesting to see the camera taking a person's view – right down to the people waving at "it" as it leaves.

Unlikely to blow your mind or anything like that, but this film is interesting for seeing the development of ideas and techniques by Lumière.


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