Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PBS Special: Jerusalem: Center of the World

The 2-hour movie narrates the history of the city. Beginning at 9pm Eastern/Pacific, the documentary is narrated by Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Susan Wunderink of Christianity Today reviews the film:

The film starts with Abraham leaving Ur at a time when Jerusalem was already settled by Canaanite tribes. The documentary embellishes biblical history, adding in traditions that say, for example, that Jerusalem is also where God created Adam. jerusalem_pbs

Suarez goes into the details of the destruction and rebuildings of the Jewish Temple. Jesus' short life is given about 15 minutes of the two-hour run time. For viewers who know what happens up to 70 A.D.—and then nothing—it will fill in some big gaps.

The second half of the film explains how the city came to look as it does today, if you can keep up. Toward the end, the pace picks up as Suarez lists how "the world's most contested piece of real estate" changes hands among multiple Christian and Muslim rulers.

Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others fought, came, and went, sometimes leaving Jerusalem little more than a tourist trap. Mark Twain found it an unappealing, sleepy place when he visited. The Romans, after nearly wiping out the Jewish population, expelled the rest; Saladin's Muslims let them re-settle.

The full review is here. The producer’s website includes a trailer.

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  • Shalom Todd. Wish we could see the program here in Israel tonight.
    Thanks for all your great posts. I love learning from your blog.

    By Blogger Dina, at Tue Mar 31, 09:58:00 PM  

  • I just noticed that this is on my local PBS station tonight. I was planning to buy it, but it looks like the DVD recorder will do the job.

    By Anonymous Al Sandalow, at Wed Apr 01, 08:46:00 PM  

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