James' Journey to Jerusalem | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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James' Journey to Jerusalem

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Elected as a spiritual emissary by his fellow villagers, a young Zulu (Siyabonga Melongisi Shibe) travels to Israel to see the ground where Jesus walked, but he's jailed at the border and released into the custody of a Jewish businessman who exploits immigrant labor. The beatific pilgrim exerts a healing effect on everyone around him, including his captor's wife and father, who are bitterly at odds over a real estate deal, but their avarice is a constant challenge to his Christian resolve. This wonderful first feature (2003) by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz hinges on Jesus's adage that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"--a more incendiary notion than anything Mel Gibson has cooked up. In English and subtitled Hebrew and Zulu. 87 min. Music Box.

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