Pilgrimages for a Cause: A Filipino Christmas in Bethlehem
Dir: Claudia Liebelt
Documentary, UK, 2010, 28 mins
Each year during Christmas, Christian pilgrims from all over the world come to Bethlehem in the Palestinian West Bank to visit what they believe is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Among them are thousands of Christian Filipino, Indian, Sri Lankan and African labour migrants, who have entered Israel in growing numbers in search of work in the 1990s. Established by Filipina domestic workers in the late 1990s, the Catholic group ‘Pilgrimages for a Cause’ organises these pilgrimages from the Jaffa St. Anthony Parish next to Tel Aviv. The documentary follows Pilgrimages for a Cause and hundreds of Filipino pilgrims to their Christmas in Bethlehem. For the three Filipina organisers, the documentary shows, migration to Israel is more than an economically rewarding enterprise: it is a devotional journey in Jesus’s footsteps in the ‘holy land’.