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James' Journey to Jerusalem
SUBJECTS — World/Israel; Religions;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Friendship; Father/Son;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Responsibility; Respect; Fairness.
Age: 12+; Unrated but suitable for any age; Drama/Comedy; 2003; 87 minutes; Color.
James is a bright, but naive, African Christian young man. Selected to become the minister for his village, he embarks on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The village chorus gives James his instructions: "come back and tell us about the place where our dream lies." Once in Israel, diverted by the lures of materialism, James finds himself on a different journey. The story is a charming parable about the limits of the profit motive and the need to find one's own holy place, despite the temptations of contemporary life.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to James' Journey to Jerusalem helps parents and teachers convey the moral lessons of the film. It also shows how to use the movie to supplement school curriculum by introducing the archetype of the pilgrimage, the great economic theories of the 19th and 20th centuries, the literary form of the parable, and the literary devices of symbolism, irony, plot development, and character.
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James' Journey to Jerusalem is the story of a modern day pilgrim to a modern day Promised Land.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below the Benefits section from the Learning Guide to James' Journey to Jerusalem.
The movie is an Israeli exercise in self-criticism that has important lessons for any affluent capitalist society. It is especially relevant to those which benefit from immigrant labor (the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe). It also: (1) provides an opportunity to describe the differences between the great economic theories of the 19th and 20th centuries: capitalism, communism, and socialism; (2) serves as an antidote to white racism and class discrimination because the character the viewer identifies with is black and the viewer sees the world through his eyes; (3) introduces and explores the archetype of the pilgrimage; (4) is an excellent example of a parable; and (5) contains good examples of the literary devices of symbolism, irony, plot development, and character.
The Learning Guide to the film James' Journey to Jerusalem contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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