IMDb > James' Journey to Jerusalem (2003)
Massa'ot James Be'eretz Hakodesh
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James' Journey to Jerusalem (2003) More at IMDbPro »Massa'ot James Be'eretz Hakodesh (original title)

James' Journey to Jerusalem -- Clip: The trip is delayed


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Release Date:
8 January 2004 (Israel) See more »
During his journey to Jerusalem young James learns the meaning of being Israeli. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
8 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Pardon the pun, this is a black satire - entertaining in spite of its implied social commentary. See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order)
Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe ... James

Salim Dau ... Shimi Shabati
Arieh Elias ... Sallah Shabati
Sandra Schonwald ... Racheli Shabati
Hugh Masebenza ... Skomboze
Florence Bloch ... Re'uma
Ya'akov Ronen Morad ... Police Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Moly Ashkenzi
Yitzchak Batal
Yehuda Cohen
Yonatan Dani
Yenbar Grayfe
Yael Levental ... Immigration Officer
David Nabegamabo ... Pastor
Pascal I. Newton ... Job
Becki Osterzetzer
Yael Parter
Michael Reizel
Baruch Sasson
Gregory Tal ... Feda

Directed by
Ra'anan Alexandrowicz 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ra'anan Alexandrowicz  writer
Sami Duenias  writer

Produced by
Tzipory Bar Yosef .... line producer
Amir Harel .... producer
Original Music by
Ehud Banai  (as Ehud Banay)
Noam Halevi 
Gil Smetana 
Cinematography by
Shark De Mayo 
Film Editing by
Ron Goldman 
Casting by
Orit Azoulay 
Marina Van Tonder (casting director: South Africa)
Production Design by
Amir Pick  (as Amir Dov Pick)
Costume Design by
Maya Barsky 
Makeup Department
Alona Keller .... assistant makeup artist
Orly Ronen .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Gal Kalfus .... production coordinator (as Gal Kalpos)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Shabtai Yitzhak .... first assistant director
Art Department
Uri Aminov .... set dresser (as Ori Aminov)
Shimi Baruch .... assistant production designer
Keren Ben-Shem .... property master
Ziv Cohen .... assistant production designer
Beni Dagan .... assistant production designer
Yossi Elbaz .... set dresser
Ronen Freidman .... assistant production designer
Amnon Laufer .... assistant production designer
Ido Nadav .... assistant production designer
Amit I. Ron .... assistant production designer
Micha Sela .... assistant production designer
Ran Shlezinger .... assistant production designer
Sound Department
Israel David .... dolby mixer
David Lis .... dolby mixer
Ronen Nagel .... sound designer
Gil Toren .... dolby mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Avner Ben-Natan .... gaffer
Idan Or .... assistant camera
Choresh Wald .... key grip
Other crew
Claire Viroulaud .... press attache

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Massa'ot James Be'eretz Hakodesh" - Israel (original title)
See more »
91 min | France:90 min (Cannes Film Festival) | USA:87 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

At one point during the movie, James is wearing a t-shirt that says (in Hebrew) "Jerusalem 2000".See more »
JerusalemSee more »


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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Pardon the pun, this is a black satire - entertaining in spite of its implied social commentary., 21 May 2004
Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa

Viewing the trailer, it seems to be a simple benign tale of how a young man James sent on a pilgrimage with the mission to see Jerusalem. Hm, it's really a black comedy in parable form, laughing at possible vulnerable morality, social foibles, and almost political non-comments on economy, religion, community, people coping with living.

Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe is James (our main hero). Arieh Elias is Sallah (the father of Shimi). Salim Dau is Shimi (the man who got James). Together these three lively talented actors, with a host of supporting characters, gave us 87 mins. of a film from Israel, in Hebrew, Zulu and English. Written and directed by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, this tale is not unique in Israel, but can very well be any city in the world, where money exchange and transactions exist for the advancement of one's social and living status.

It feels (at first) rather like Antoine de Saint Exupéry's "The Little Prince," James is discovering truth of things. Gradually it becomes more of an urban reality tale. It's not glamorous Hollywood fable like "Edward Scissorhands." Rather, it's a good-natured almost genuine in its sincere storytelling - James' innocence is as real as it gets. He wanted to be right, walk right, talk right, do the right thing. However, it seems the Lord has other ideas and plans in helping James to fulfill his mission of "Oh, Jerusalem". The dialog is practical, matter of fact, down to earth translations. In fact, the main story narration is in the form of a choir singing out (echoing) the storyline in a gospel song.

Are the characters depicted being amoral? Is living such a chore and Shimi and wife and friends lacking in brightness of the heart? We laugh as we've seen and heard such things happening to others (oh no, not to us.) What a meaningful first debut feature. "James' Journey to Jerusalem" is a worthy and entertaining piece, may even rings true in its reflections of social insensitivity - living got to be more reassuring than that. The warmth that James felt towards Sallah, a grumpy and nostalgic (yet whimsical at times) old man, indicated his respect and recognition of a fellow living human being in spite of mutual weaknesses, and the handshake is reciprocal. Sadness and joy, the yin and yang, James cannot appreciate the view of Jerusalem more without what he's been through. Despite the ending situation, I felt James is much wiser and morally strengthened to continue living and abide by his heart.

If you find this light, try Lars von Trier's "Dogville," which is substantively loaded with morality play and human foibles, and may even see the film in the light of how God sent his daughter (Nicole Kidman's Grace) to earth and the passion began, continued, and fulfilled. "Dogville" is not for everyone (NFE) for sure. "James' Journey to Jerusalem" aka Massa'ot James Be'eretz Hakodesh (2003), is ready for anyone with a gleeful heart!

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