What Is the Story of The Road to Mecca?
Set in apartheid South Africa, The Road to Mecca is based on the true story of Helen Martins, an elderly woman who, after her husband’s death, reconstructed her home and front yard into an array of glittering art. When Helen gets an unexpected visit from Elsa, a spirited young teacher who is inspired by Helen’s work, Elsa discovers that Helen is being coerced out of her home by the local church. Elsa convinces Helen to stay put and continue creating art, even though suspicious clues around the house suggest that Helen may be having difficulty taking care of herself. To Elsa’s disdain, Pastor Marius Byleveld pays a visit, hoping Helen will take an open room in the church’s old-age home. Elsa and Byleveld both state their arguments, but the final decision is one that only Helen can make.