Zombies in the Old City

Tablet magazine highlights a new film called JeruZalem, which looks like it could be excellent trashy summer viewing for Jerusalem fans.

Explicitly invoking biblical eschatology in its trailer, JeruZalem presents a modern take on the narrative of the resurrection at the end of days, in the form of (what else?) a zombie horror film. Its premise is as follows:

American tourists visiting Jerusalem arrive just as the mouth of hell opens up and spits out agitated zombies, at which point said tourists take refuge in the world’s greatest hideout, the Old City.

As Tablet points out, Max Brooks’ novel World War Z , made into a film of the same name starring Brad Pitt in 2013, also brought zombies to Jerusalem.

In the film, Israel is one of only two countries (curiously, along with North Korea) to have survived a zombie onslaught, saved by the initiative of its secret service agency, the Mossad. Israel takes in survivors, of all religions and nationalities, and builds an enormous wall around Jerusalem to keep the zombies out. This section of the film does not have a happy ending.

Who am I to say, but I suspect there might be some political metaphors in here.

Hannah Boast

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One thought on “Zombies in the Old City

  1. As an addendum on World War Z, here’s a Forward blogger summing up the film’s reception:

    ‘If you were to judge only by what’s been said in the media firestorm it’s left in its wake, you might assume that the new Brad Pitt zombie extravaganza, “World War Z,” is so pro-Israel that by the time the credits roll, the audience members will be singing “Hatikva” just to inoculate themselves against the undead. The Times of Israel declared “World War Z” “the greatest piece of cinematic propaganda for Israel since Otto Preminger’s ‘Exodus.’” Al-Jazeera quoted several critics of Israel lambasting the film for defending “Israel’s apartheid wall.”’

    http://forward.com/culture/180191/deconstructing-the-most-pro-israel-zombie-movie-ev/

    And an Al Jazeera critic flagging up the shift in political meanings of the zombie trope, from George A. Romero’s satires of consumerism and militarism, to World War Z’s post-9/11 paranoia and Zionist triumphalism (thanks to Dom Davies for the link):

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/201371183655144583.html

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