12 August 2009 | ng
Journey to Mecca is really two IMAX films in one. It starts and ends with a documentary approach to modern Mecca and in between is tied with the story of Ibn Battuta, an adventurer from the 14th Century. Obviously, in the length of an IMAX, anyone expecting the Arabian Nights covering 40 years of his life in 40 minutes is going to be disappointed. Instead, the film concentrates on his 'Journey to Mecca', a story of shipwrecks and banditry. I thought it was a smart way to go, spicing up what is at heart, a most serious movie, with sword fights while never letting go of the religious quest that is at the heart of the Hajj. Most impressive of all are the shots of the modern pilgrims. Any one who's jaw doesn't drop at the sight of millions of men and women dressed all in white, covering a mountain top, doesn't know the true meaning of the word 'epic'.