New movie offers remedy for Jerusalem-homesick students

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Neil Reed and Jared Maxfield enthusiastically dress up in traditional Arab clothing at the premiere of "Jerusalem" to get the true experience. Photo by Taylor Hintz.
Neil Reed and Jared Maxfield enthusiastically dress up in traditional Arab clothing at the premiere of “Jerusalem” to get the true experience.
Photo by Taylor Hintz.

The pains of homesickness can hit at a moment’s notice for students studying on campus, but only a few understand the longing for a place that, despite being full of conflict and turmoil, has become their home away from home. This is the case for BYU students who spend time studying in Jerusalem.

For those who have ever spent any significant amount of time abroad, they understand a part of one’s self is left behind when the time comes to return home. Such was the sentiment of several students who recently attended the new National Geographic IMAX 3D production, “Jerusalem.”

“It felt like going home,” said Nathan Eyring, a senior from Provo studying applied physics.

“It’s really hard to describe, but seeing the movie made me homesick,” Eyring said. Eyring participated in the Hebrew┬áintensive program and studied in Jerusalem during the spring and summer of 2013.

Jerusalem meant a lot to students who have since returned from their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They return forever changed.

“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Kimmy Meyers, a senior from Tampa, Fla., studying exercise science. “It was something I had dreamed of doing since I was a freshman, and it was the best four months of my life.”

For Jasmin Gimenez, a senior from Southington, Conn., studying ancient Near Eastern studies, deciding to travel to the Holy Land was more than just educational. She found a deeper level of understanding during her semester there.

“For me it was about understanding my major on a deeper level and understanding my Savior on a deeper level,” Gimenez said.

The new IMAX 3D production “Jerusalem” brought up a lot of different emotions for those who’ve recently returned.

“It was mixed emotions,” Meyers said. “I was sad I wasn’t there but happy to see the placed I love. The movie was so real, I felt like I was there. It still feels like I belong there.”

For some, it was like reliving some of the daily experiences they had while walking through the old city of Jerusalem.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” said Gimenez. “Smells and sounds and sights that mean so much to me. It was a lot of nostalgia.”

There were a lot of iconic parts of the movie for these students, and they had a hard time choosing just one.

“I really enjoyed the last shot of the Dome of the Rock,” Eyring said. “You could see the Jerusalem Center in the background.

For these students, Jerusalem is more than just a movie or ancient city; it has changed their very identity.

“It’s become a part of me. It’s my hometown now,” Meyers said.

Most of these student will not likely return to Jerusalem anytime soon, the new movie has become a remedy to the nostalgia for their second home.

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