Movie: Mysteries of Jerusalem: The Search for the True Cross
Description: The cross that Jesus died on became emblematic of the entire Christian religion. Over the centuries it became a much sought-after holy artifact that inspired many false trails and claims. Indeed, in The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain noted that as he and his fellow travelers crossed Europe, "we find a piece of the true cross in every old church we go into, and some of the nails that held it together. I would not like to be positive, but I think we have seen as much as a keg of these nails." This video, part of a three-tape documentary series concerning Jerusalem, chronicles the history and mysteries of the Christian cross, including its disappearance in the 12th century, as well as legends that arose concerning the relic. Highlights include clips from a performance of the famed, if somewhat anti-Semitic Easter Passion Play in Bavaria, and footage of the Horns of Hattin site in Galilee, scene of the Christian Crusaders’ great defeat at the hands of Saladin and his Muslim army in 1187. Also included are interviews with various historians, religious scholars, and archaeologists.