Film showing at Thanksgiving Point shares an up-close look at Holy Land

Published: Saturday, Nov. 9 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

“So many of them were just thankful for being able to have a renewal of what they felt and experienced and learned while they were there,” he said. “It was sort of just a wonderful return.”

“Jerusalem” has a particular significance for many Utah residents, Smoot said.

“I think it reinforces Mormon theology and Mormon belief,” he said. “I think it allows us to see where we fit in, even though it doesn’t explore Mormonism specifically.”

In fact, he said, it is truly enlightening to any audience member of any faith, providing a glimpse of the complexities of other religions and really showing just what makes the Holy Land holy to so many. It's not only a good renewal but also a good introduction.

Smoot ventured so far as to say that it could be an even better experience than in person, seeing that even those who make it there in person may not be in the right place at the right time to catch certain things.

”I mean, how many people get a chance to experience Ramadan up close and personal?” he said. “Very few people.”

Davies said that “Jerusalem” can touch people in rare ways and that it is a truly emotionally moving film.

“There’s a great beauty to it at all levels — on a human level, on a spiritual level and on an educational level,” he said.

That beauty really affected Smoot during the filmmaking. He described how the process was a huge learning experience for him. He even had the special opportunity of having his daughters on set, getting a fresh view of Jerusalem by seeing a life-changing experience through their eyes.

“The whole objective in being a filmmaker is the ability to share things that we experience,” he said. And what he experienced was a powerful encounter with the Holy Land.

“Jerusalem” will run at Thanksgiving Point’s Mammoth Screen Theater for about six months. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. For more information on the showings and pricing, visit www.thanksgivingpoint.org. For more information on “Jerusalem,” visit www.jerusalemthemovie.com.

It will also begin playing at Clark Planetarium's ATK IMAX Theatre on Nov. 22. Tickets there are $9 for adults and $7 for children, and $7 for shows beginning before 5 p.m. More information is available at www.clarkplanetarium.org.

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