Journey To Mecca - Reviews

  • Sight & Sound, the International Film Magazine, July 2010

    “The film presents viewers with something that has literally never been seen before on such a breathtaking scale… The results are suitably awe-inspiring… Coming at a time when Islam tends to be associated in our media with barbarity, terrorism and war, Journey to Mecca offers a stunning corrective that will in every way broaden the viewer's perspective…”

  • Globe and Mail, Canada, Feb 2009

    The tale of a 14th-century Muslim traveller who followed the sun and stars for 30 years, searching for spiritual contentment, Journey to Mecca: in the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama and the former archbishop of Canterbury.

    But don't let that discourage all you temporal pleasure-seekers out there. The 45-minute IMAX® film, now playing at Toronto's Ontario Science Centre in conjunction with the exhibit Sultans of Science (Islamic Science Rediscovered), has the cheery innocence and dramatic sweep of a Saturday-afternoon kids matinee.

  • Sunday Mercury, UK, September 2010

    PLOT: Modern-day footage and narration from Sir Ben Kingsley is combined with a reenactment of the 14th century journey to Mecca of Moroccan law student Ibn Battutah. It’s a dangerous 5,000 mile trek by horse and camel to the place where Muslim pilgrims gather once a year.

    GOOD POINTS: It’s screened at Birmingham’s IMAX®, whose big screen is the perfect size to show the sweeping vistas and sheer scale of the crowds. The never-before seen footage of the modern Hajj is astonishing, with thousands of white-clad people stretching as far as the eye can see.

  • Birmingham Mail, UK, Sept 24 2010

    SHOWING in the giant IMAX® cinema at Millennium Point, this National Geographic production features some of the world’s most amazing landscapes blown up on the Midlands’ biggest screen.

    The 46-minute educational film follows, to a degree, in the geographical footsteps of the overlooked Mystery of the Nile (2005). This time we’re in the 14th century footsteps of Ibn Battuta (Chems Eddine Zinoun), a young scholar who leaves Tangier in 1325 in a bid to reach Mecca, 3,000 miles to the east.

  • New York Times, Feb 13, 2009

    IN the parlance of the war in Iraq, firing on the enemy is “lighting up a hajji.”

    Unlike dehumanizing insults adopted by Americans in other wars, “hajji” is actually an honorific. It is added to the name of one who has made the hajj, the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca.

    Erasing that kind of prejudice is the reason Taran Davies — a half-English, half-American graduate of Eton and Harvard who was raised in the Church of England — has devoted himself to making films about Islam.

  • Washington Post, Jan 15, 2010

    We're used to IMAX® movies that focus on the natural wonders of the world. And "Journey to Mecca" -- based on the real-life pilgrimage of a 14th-century Moroccan law student named Ibn Battuta (Chems Eddine Zinoun) -- certainly has its share of swooping panoramic shots of deserts, mountains, waterways and star-filled skies.

  • Washington Life Magazine, Jan 15, 2010

    It’s fair to say that, even in the most fair and balanced way, the majority of news and imaging the “West” receives about Islam and the greater Muslim world these days is skewed towards the negative or confrontational – particularly when the dialogue includes religion. It’s unfortunate. All the reason why it was so refreshing to be at The National Museum of Natural History recently for the screening of “Journey to Mecca,” a film that celebrates Islam and the Hajj, the large annual pilgrimage considered to be the fifth pillar of Islam and a religious duty to be carried out at least once in a lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.

  • The Washington Examiner, Jan 13, 2010

    It is difficult to remember a time when religion and culture meant community rather than politics. It is especially difficult to read about Islam in the Western media after 9/11 without the filter of terrorism applied to a crass political calculation. In his inaugural address President Barack Obama signaled a new day, a way forward. Yet the way forward is a path littered with a comfortable ignorance requiring little thought or reflection. Without a guide, without the proper tools it seems an impossible journey; until now.