Journey To Mecca

  • Film
  • Documentaries
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One suspects that this gigantiscope outing is the closest the majority of non-Muslims will ever get to seeing Mecca up close. It took 87 permits to allow the 85-strong IMAX team special access to this most sacred monument and, for the viewer, the final scenes shot from a helicopter 200 feet above as thousands of pilgrims encircle the cube-shaped ‘Kaaba’ below are a sight to behold, even if the magic of this Saudi Arabian locale is somewhat spoiled by the high-rise buildings surrounding it. But before reaching this final goal, first we must endure a meaningful but compressed and poorly performed dramatic reconstruction of an earlier, inspirational Hajj undertaken, in 1325, by seasoned Moroccan scholar Ibn Battuta (the late Chems-Eddine Zinoun). As an enlightening illustration of one of Islam’s most fascinating rituals, this just about succeeds – but the drama at its heart is simply substandard.

Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday June 18 2010
Duration: 46 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bruce Neibaur
Cast: Nadim Sawalha
Hassam Ghancy
Nabil Elouahabi
Chems-Eddine Zinoun

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Samuel Johnson

I had the pleasure recently of seeing Journey to Mecca at the BFI IMAX in London, and while I agree with Mr Adams that the film was visually dazzling, I found the story of Ibn Battuta equally captivating and entertaining. I had not heard of Ibn Battuta nor his extraordinary exploits before, and I was thoroughly impressed. Imagine someone in the 14th Century traveling three times farther than Marco Polo, yet remaining largely unknown in the Western canon. The acting was superb and the narrative fast moving and easy to follow. My only regret was that the film wasn't longer!

Samuel Johnson

I had the pleasure recently of seeing Journey to Mecca at the BFI IMAX in London, and while I agree with Mr Adams that the film was visually dazzling, I found the story of Ibn Battuta equally captivating and entertaining. I had not heard of Ibn Battuta nor his extraordinary exploits before, and I was thoroughly impressed. Imagine someone in the 14th Century traveling three times farther than Marco Polo, yet remaining largely unknown in the Western canon. The acting was superb and the narrative fast moving and easy to follow. My only regret was that the film wasn't longer!