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HOLY ROLLERS

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Australian Showcase )

Director: Rosie Jones

Biblical tours are big business. Suzi Rosedale moved from Australia to an Arab outer suburb of Jerusalem in 1984. Since then she has run a highly successful company chaperoning devout pilgrims around the ancient sites of the Holy Land. Mormons, Catholics, Jews and Muslims all line up for a glimpse of relics, ruins and reduced price souvenirs of a supposedly sacred past.

Suzi makes no secret of the fact that she is given a cut at the lucrative keepsake kiosk she points her customers toward as they scoop up idols, prayer cards and commemorative T-shirts tailored to their particular beliefs. She keeps an open mind (but mouth shut) regarding the more dubious items changing hands in back alley bazaars, the point of purchase for those interested in a 'genuine' fragment of Christ's toenail or Moses' beard! She cautions her group that she will be taking them to visit only one of the two contested sites of Jesus' tomb.

A humourous, enlightening documentary detailing a peculiar niche market in the tourism industry and the energetic, last-talking and magnetic Aussie ex-pat that spotted the opportunity. Keep one hand on your wallet.

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