Les Pèlerins de la Mecque (Mecca Pilgrims)

In 1940, French alpinist, explorer, photographer, and film director Marcel Ichac
traveled the pilgrimage route from North Africa to Mecca. He filmed the journey to the
boundary at the request of the French government, with footage of the city filmed by
a Muslim crew.
The result, “Les Pèlerins de la Mecque,” is a remarkable account of the annual
pilgrimage. Capturing the euphoria and challenges of the journey, it also documents
a moment of significant social turmoil as the pilgrims travel from war-torn countries to
the heart of Islam. The film constitutes the first comprehensive report of North African
Muslims traveling freely to Mecca, making their journeys despite the conflicts of
Focusing on real people, the film joins them as they traverse several countries – from
Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco to Saudi Arabia. Following each stage of the
pilgrimage, individuals undertake meticulous practical and mental preparations before
embarking on a long and often-times treacherous journey. Considered to be one of
the greatest ever mountain filmmakers, Ichac revolutionized documentary cinema.
Through his lens, the emotional and physical dimensions of this spiritual journey are


Marcel Ichac





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