Leaving Jerusalem by Railway  (1897)

6.5 / 10

A train, with a camera mounted near the front, pulls out of the Jerusalem station. It passes groups, first of Europeans, then Palestinian Arabs, then Palestinian Jews. Dress, hats, and ...See full summary »

Country France

Genre Documentary, Short

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Départ de Jérusalem en chemin de fer (1897) Movie Review

Richard Cross | 20/20 Movie Reviews | www.2020-movie-reviews.com | English

In the months following the Lumières’ first exhibition of film and the resultant clamour for new material by an impatient audience, the brothers sent cameramen around the world to film scenes of strange and distant lands. Départ de Jérusalem en chemin de fer is possibly one of the most beautiful. The camera is mounted on the rear platform of a train departing Jerusalem station and its movement, the gradual diminishing viewpoint that gathers momentum as the train builds up speed, lends the film an almost dreamlike quality. A group of well-dressed men stroll slowly alongside the tracks, smiling uncertainly at one another and at the departing train as if they are unsure quite how they are expected to behave.
(Reviewed 28th May 2009)

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