Israel: The Royal Tour provides a lively travelogue through one of the most culturally diverse and historically significant regions of the world. The audience's guide is none other than the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The tour begins in Jerusalem, the 5,000-year old city that serves as the nation's capital. There, Netanyahu shares details of his own life story as well as the tumultuous history of his country. Israel was first established as an independent sovereign Jewish state in 1948, yet it's fought heartily every decade since to protect this identity. While lasting peace with Palestine has proven elusive, the country has nevertheless managed to forge significant progress and influence on the global stage.
The country is smaller than the state of New Jersey, yet it looms large in both its rich history and promising future prospects. With Netanyahu's gracious guidance, the filmmakers capture a wealth of surprising locales, including an impressive soccer stadium where youth of all cultures join to play, and an exotic Red Sea setting filled with sun-drenchers, sailors and paragliders. They swim with wild dolphins at an exclusive resort, and float along the Jordan Sea in water rafts.
Of course, the country represents much more than mere fun and frolic. It's also a region where millions congregate for a glimpse of the divine. Back in Jerusalem, they stand on the grounds where Jesus is believed to have ascended. They visit the world's oldest cemetery where they pay a respectful visit to Netanyahu's long-deceased grandparents, take in the awe-inspiring panoramic views of the ancient Holy Land, and discuss the mingling of Jews, Christians and Muslims who reside there. As Netanyahu points out during the course of the film, this is the only time in history when all three faiths have enjoyed unfettered access to these landmarks.
It's a land of staggering beauty and mystical contradictions. In a single day's visit, a visitor can stroll from their beachfront paradise and enter an environment which seems to have remained untouched for thousands of years.
Israel: The Royal Tour places you at the center of this fascinating country, and captures its spirit with vivid and vibrant detail.
Directed by: John Feist