Letters From Baghdad

PG

INFO

Starring
Gertrude Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Adam Astill, Tom Chadbon, Simon Chandler, Joanna David & Anthony Edridge

Director: Zeva Oelbaum & Sabine Krayenbüehl

Running Time: 93 minutes

Certificate: PG - contains brief images of dead bodies and suicide references

Country: UK / Iraq

Format: 2D


"A fascinating documentary on Gertrude Bell, the film is part of a wider movement to resuscitate Bell’s story (well covered in the biography Desert Queen and fictionalised in a Werner Herzog film starring Nicole Kidman) which was instrumental in the creation of what eventually became Iraq"
★★★★
- Kate Muir, The Times

"Gertrude Bell gets the documentary she deserves. Tilda Swinton reads from the letters of the colourful and charismatic explorer in this finely wrought film"
★★★★
- Leslie Felperin, The Guardian


Letters From Baghdad tells the extraordinary story of Gertrude Bell. Sometimes called the ’female Lawrence of Arabia’, Bell was the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day. Narrated and executive produced by Oscar winner Tilda Swinton, the documentary tells the dramatic story of this British spy, explorer and political powerhouse. Bell travelled widely in Arabia before being recruited by British military intelligence to help draw the borders of Iraq after WWI.

Using never-seen-before footage of the region, the film chronicles Bell’s remarkable journey into both the uncharted Arabian desert and the inner sanctum of British male colonial power. With unique access to documents from the Iraq National Library, and Gertrude’s own 1600 letters, the story - excerpted verbatim from private diaries and secret communiqués - is a unique look at both a remarkable woman and the tangled history of Iraq, taking us into a past that is eerily current...

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