Last night, I had the opportunity to see an advance screening of the complete movie at the IMAX theater at the Indiana State Museum, and it was simply phenomenal. It has incredible landscapes. It has archaeology. It has reconstructions of the past. It has real artifacts. It has everyday life. It has interviews with local residents, and also with archaeologist Jodi Magness.
I’ve used the trailer from the movie in the past to promote my trips to Israel. I think that it would make sense to require students going on such a trip in the future to see the movie, as an introduction to the places. And until such time as it becomes feasible to start up regular trips to Israel again, this movie is actually not a bad substitute. While nothing can replace going there, the impressive camera work takes you down the streets of the old city, into the midst of parades for Easter, the end of Ramadan, and Bar Mitzvahs, and into tiny shops. If no movie can take the place of an actual visit, this movie takes you places that few tourists from the English-speaking world get to see, whether because we cannot enter the Dome of the Rock, or because we are not there during Easter week, or because we do not have a helicopter or jetpack.While I am sure that there will be a DVD that you can watch at home, this is one that is worth seeing in theaters to get the full IMAX experience. I saw it in 2D and was amazed. I might go back to see it in 3D, which I imagine would be even more amazing. I highly recommend the experience, in any number of dimensions.