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.
The film’s biggest selling point, of course, will be to give religious-minded cinemagoers the chance to feel like they’ve made the same pilgrimage for real. Though set 700 years ago, there are clear shots of modern cranes when the film dissolves into how the Hajj is still performed today.
The actors look continually too well to have experienced such unforgiving conditions like this for real, but look out for former EastEnders’ regular Nabil Elouhabi (Tariq) as Hamza.
The shots of a moving caravan of thousands of people are fabulous, especially as nobody looks round to see the helicopter coming with the cameras on board.