O JERUSALEM Add To My Top 10

Anachronistic Agenda?

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Release Date: October 24, 2007

Starring: J. J. Field, Said Taghmaoui, Daniel Lundh, Mel Raido, Maria Papas, Ian Holm, Patrick Bruel, Peter Polycarpou, Tovah Feldshuh, and Elie Chouraqui

Genre: Historical Drama/War Drama

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 100 minutes

Address Comments To:

Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO
Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films
9570 West Pico Blvd., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 860-3100
Fax: (310) 860-3195

Content:

(PaPa, RHRH, BB, C, FRFR, PC, H, L, VV, A, D, M) Somewhat liberal, mixed multicultural worldview with some strong revisionist history, strong moral elements mixed with some positive mentions of God and a positive reference to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion by a Muslim, but Muslims are the ones who mostly speak about God or religion in the movie, sometimes in an anachronistic multicultural way that seems a bit politically correct, plus some minor humanist tones or attitudes; one hell, three hecks and three or four light profanities, such as My God; war violence such as explosions, people shot, soldiers fight, snipers, battles; no sex; no nudity; some alcohol use; smoking; and, Arab pogroms against Jews and a probably false liberal, left-wing, pro-Muslim portrayal of the alleged massacre in Deir Yassin by some Jews against some Arabs, that falsely claims all of the Arabs killed there were just innocent victims.

Summary:

O JERUSALEM is an historical drama about the fight for Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs after the United Nations voted in 1947 to partition Palestine into two separate homelands for the Jews and the Arabs. O JERUSALEM recognizes the Jews’ right to have a homeland in the Middle East among the sea of Arab Muslims there, but it has a slightly liberal multicultural agenda that distorts some of the period’s political, religious and moral history.

Review:

O JERUSALEM is an historical drama about the fight for Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs after the United Nations voted in 1947 to partition Palestine into two separate homelands for the Jews and the Arabs. As such, it gives a modern multicultural spin that calls people to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Though it recognizes the Jews’ right to have a homeland in Israel, the movie also adopts some of the false Arab/Muslim revisions to the history of that time. Thus, its multicultural agenda flirts with being abhorrent, because it tries to make the history and the dialogue fit its anachronistic, incongruous agenda.

The movie opens in New York City at the end of World War II, where Bobby, a Jewish soldier fresh from the European war zone, literally runs into Said, an Arab whose family comes from Palestine. They become friends, despite their political differences. A year later, when their mutual friend, Jacob, moves to Jerusalem, Bobby and Said follow.

In Israel, the three men watch the news as the United Nations debates the partition of Palestine into separate homelands for both the Jews and the Arabs living there. Tension grows between the three friends, and between the Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem. The three men are swept up into the events. Jacob is shot dead early on by a British soldier during an Arab pogrom against the Jews in Jerusalem. Then, Said begins fighting for the Arab Muslims and Bobby begins fighting for the Jewish forces led by David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, the two future leaders of the new country Israel.

Though there are a couple scenes with rabbis and Bible references on the part of the Jewish forces in this movie, most of the references to God or religion are made by Said and the Muslim characters. At one point, Said even acknowledges the place where Jesus Christ was supposedly crucified, even though Muslims reject the historical fact that Jesus was crucified. This portrayal seems to reflect the fact that much of modern Israel was built on socialism and secular humanism, whereas the Muslims and Christian Arabs who were the majority of the inhabitants of Israel at the time were opposed to Israel for religious reasons. Even so, it is doubtful that there were so few religious ideals and references to God among the Jews of Israel back then as this movie makes out. Also, the religious ideals of Arab Muslims are often not so peaceful and cosmopolitan as the filmmakers portray here, although the Christian Arabs who constituted the majority were.

In the end, the movie argues for peaceful co-existence after the battle for Jerusalem ends with a divided city, where Israel and the Jews control one part of the city while the Arabs and Jordan control the other part. This situation changed in 1967 when Israel, surrounded by hostile armies preparing another attack, fought back and regained some of Ancient Israel’s old territory.

In addition to making some of the Christian Arabs and Muslims appear more chivalrous than they really were at the time, the movie revises history to support an incongruous, anachronistic multicultural agenda that ignores the real cultural, political and theological differences among Jews, Arabs and Christians. The movie also falsely depicts the Jewish extremist group, the Irgun’s, attack on the Arab village of Deir Yassin as an all-out massacre of peaceful Arabs, including women and children, when the historical facts are quite different.

Thus, although the movie supports the creation of the Jewish state in the Middle East, it revises history significantly enough to make the movie’s historical, political, moral, and religious content somewhat suspect and, ultimately, unacceptable, though perhaps not completely abhorrent. MOVIEGUIDE® cannot, therefore, fully endorse the movie’s representation of the social, political, religious, and moral history of the period in question. Jerusalem, of course, ultimately belongs to Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, who is the true heir to King David, the man who actually founded the city. All people – Jew and Gentile – should recognize that truth above all when it comes to Jerusalem. The true peace of Jerusalem – and Israel – will come only when Jesus Christ returns to separate the sheep from the goats, the righteous from the wicked.

In Brief:

O JERUSALEM is an historical drama about the fight for Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs in 1947. The fight occurred after the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two separate homelands for the Jews and the Arabs. The story focuses on a Jew, Bobby, and Said, an Arab Muslim from Jerusalem, who become friends in New York City after World War II. Bobby and Said move to Jerusalem, where the new U.N. partition of Palestine brings conflict between the two friends. Said begins fighting for the Arab Muslims. And, Bobby begins fighting for the Jewish forces led by David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, the two future leaders of the new country Israel.

O JERUSALEM gives a modern multicultural spin that asks people to follow Psalm 122:6 and “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Though it recognizes Israel’s right to exist, the movie also adopts some of the false revisions to the period’s political, religious and moral history. Also, only the Muslims in the story seem to make any positive references to God or religion. These anachronistic distortions are unacceptable, though not completely abhorrent. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® cannot endorse the movie’s representation of history.