'Jerusalem: the movie' celebrates Israel's Holy Land

23rd Sep 2013

Holidaymakers planning city breaks to Jerusalem can now get a sneak preview of this unique destination - at their local cinema.

It is the star of a new National Geographic Entertainment film which hit the big screen last week.

Giant-screen, IMAX and digital 3-D cinemas will celebrate the Israeli icon, offering previously unseen views of the Holy Land.

Britain's Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch narrates Jerusalem, a place rich in history, religion, science and cultural sites.

Jerusalem is not just one of the world's oldest cities, it is also considered holy by three leading world religions - Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Filmmakers, using high definition cameras, were given special access rights which waived the region's traditional no-fly zone policy to capture aerial footage using low-altitude planes.

Jerusalem's controversial past has seen it fought over more than any other place in history; conquered and destroyed, rebuilt and reinvented.

Yet still it remains both a flourishing modern city and a living museum to over 5,000 years of history.

Jerusalem examines this ancient, mysterious place on a lavish scale.

Audiences get a rare look at the city, besides exclusive access to iconic holy sites.

These include popular tourist haunts, the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee and the mountain fortress of Masada.

Jerusalem, which boasts thousands of archaeological sites, is one of the world's most excavated cities, with so much more waiting to be uncovered.

The movie includes famous archaeologist and religious studies professor Dr. Jodi Magness, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

One exciting scene sees Magness escorting a tour group around Temple Mount's monumental walls.

This ends up morphing into a computer-generated reconstruction of the Second Temple.

Other scenes contrast present-day settings with how the same location looked in historical pictures or virtual views of ancient history.

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