Thursday, 7 October 2010


I went to see the recently released film Journey to Mecca at the IMAX cinema in Birmingham the other week with Annie. We really enjoyed it as a beautiful cinematic experience and as an opportunity to get close to the amazing spiritual experience of the Hajj, with some great insights for the non-Muslim into the spirituality of the pilgrimage to Mecca and I would encourage Christians to take the opportunity to go and see it to get a better understanding of the last of the five pillars of Islam. However I am also aware that not all my Muslim friends are enthusiastic about the film or its particular spin on the life of Ibn Battuta. For a very different approach to Ibn Battuta's journeys and an exploration of the diversity of Islam both in Battuta's time and our own try watching the BBC Four 3 hour documentary by Tim Mackintosh - Smith on Battuta's travels that is available for download here. Whatever the truth about Battuta's life is (and it does appear that the JTM film takes some liberties on that account) do take time to be cinematically immersed in the experience of the Hajj and take yourself down to the IMAX - it's worth the £8.