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)

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

Overview

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7.4/10   511 votes »
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Release Date:
8 January 2004 (Israel) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
During his journey to Jerusalem young James learns the meaning of being Israeli. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
8 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
moving but controversial film See more (12 total) »

Cast

  (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 »
Runtime:
91 min | France:90 min (Cannes Film Festival) | USA:87 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:
Company:

Did You Know?

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

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
moving but controversial film, 1 March 2005
Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States

In the allegorical "James' Journey to Jerusalem," a deeply religious young man, filled with idealism and hope, leaves his village in Africa to embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy City. There he hopes to glean some spiritual inspiration before returning home to start life as a pastor. However, things do not quite work out for James the way he envisions them. Immediately upon his arrival in Israel and before he can even make it to the famed city, he is unjustly thrown into jail, then "sold" into a kind of paid slavery to the business man who ponies up his bail. James is forced to live in a kind of community barracks with other young men in his situation and is sent around town to do cleaning, gardening and an assortment of other odd jobs. As James toils at his labors and interacts with both his "superiors" and peers, he learns a great deal about life in a land where the weak are taken advantage of by the strong and where friendly words and acts of seeming kindness are doled out with an air of class-conscious racism and condescension.

This is a fascinating film in many ways, for it introduces us to a milieu filled with unfamiliar situations and faces. James is, obviously, a sincere and devout individual whose innocence and naiveté endear us to him, even when it is those very qualities that make it difficult for him to exist and function in a world far more crassly commercial and uncaringly cynical than the one he expects to find. Yet, at the same time, James has a strength of spirit and a resourcefulness that allow him to triumph, even if only temporarily, over the adversities that befall him. However, even the saintly James, who keeps a firm grasp on his principles early on, eventually learns that one sometimes has to violate a moral code or two to get ahead in life. In many ways, this is like a modern "Pilgrim's Progress" or "Young Goodman Brown," with the noble protagonist leaving the safety and familiarity of his home to venture forth into a world filled with evils and temptations - but always with the hope of reaching that famed "City on a Hill" at the end.

However, there is one rather disturbing aspect to the film, and that is that, almost without exception, all the Israelis whom James encounters are greedy, grasping exploiters who see James and all of his compatriots as little more than chattel to do their work for them, talking down to and taking advantage of them every chance they get. Even his boss' elderly father, with whom James establishes a certain precarious "friendship," is really just a bitter, angry racist, hardly deserving of James' loyalty and trust. But to be fair, it isn't just the Jewish Israelis - even the black minister of the church that James attends ends up exploiting him. Since the film originates from Israel, it would be a bit difficult to accuse it of being anti-Semitic, and perhaps this film is that country's attempt to come to terms with a decidedly negative aspect of the nation's people and character - equivalent to the many Hollywood films made about racism, discrimination and exploitation in the United States of America.

Whatever the motivation, "James' Journey to Jerusalem" is a moving film about xenophobia, the class struggle and the fragility of hopes and dreams. The ironic final image brings that last theme home in a heartbreaking way. For James does finally reach his destination, but not quite in the way he intended.

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