5.7/10
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Queen of the Desert (2015)

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A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.

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(screenplay)
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2,803 ( 709)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Gertrude Bell
... Henry Cadogan
... T.E. Lawrence
... Richard Wylie
... Fattuh
... Florance Bell
... Hugh Bell
... Winston Churchill
Nick Waring ... Sir Mark Sykes
... Florence Lascelles
... Lascelles
... Aunt Lascelles
... Thompson
... Early of Chester
... Arnold Runcie
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A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of one woman who defied an empire. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief nudity and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 April 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kraljica pustinje  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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| (re-cut)

Sound Mix:

(5.1)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicole Kidman said she "begged" director Werner Herzog to include a scene of her character bathing in the desert, which he happily obliged to. The scene was written on set and finally made it into the film. See more »

Goofs

At 1:36:00, the Bedouin Sheik holds and offers the lamb's head with his left hand. This is contrary to all etiquette, as the right hand is used for eating while the left one is, shall we say, the wiping hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sir Mark Sykes: [stadning at a map] Assuming become Ottoman Empire finally becomes defunct, Russia would get the Dardanelles, the portion closest to them, and the Italians the islands off the mainland.
Winston Churchill: And the French had no problem with that?
Charles Doughty-Wylie: The French have a problem with anything. That's their nature.
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Crazy Credits

The credits are shown over footage of sand blowing across the desert. See more »

Connections

References Gallipoli (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Min Dira-L Dira
Written by Jay Abdo
Performed by Jay Abdo and Paul Paragon
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User Reviews

 
A Remarkable Human, a Remarkable Life, Too Bad Hollywood Ruined It
19 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

Gertrude Bell is one of the most remarkable people (of either sex) to have ever lived...but you wouldn't know it from this film. Archaeologist, mountain climber, poet, translator, linguist, explorer, diplomat, spy, (to name just a handful of her many accomplishments) and all in a time in which women were virtually prohibited from doing any of those things, for the most part, and in territories that even men of the time feared to tread. In addition to being the world's expert on both Sunni and Shiite relations before, during and after WWII, she was charged with drawing up the boundaries for modern day Iraq. She was respected, admired and desired.

But, since she was female, it took nearly a decade to green light a movie on her life and then some man decides to make her life story an epic "romance" and, of course, make the MEN in her life central to her story. How heartbreaking that her story was so terribly contrived to conform to Hollywood's stereotypes about women and women's lives. And how more tragic that this film could not even find a U.S. distributer as of this writing. This is why we live in a world that thinks women make little to no contributions to history. We rarely tell their stories and when we do, we stuff the round peg of a remarkable life into the square hole of Hollywood sexist tropes, believing no one wants to see a film with a female protagonist unless she's spending at least half the movie pining over some man in order to feel whole.

While the movie does cover many of her remarkable accomplishments, my beef with the film is the need to weigh her story down with overly melodramatic, poorly written scenes of tragic love instead of celebrating a superlative life of unique and notable triumphs. I wanted to see more on her travels, her discoveries, her diplomacy, her efforts during the war. Just gender flip this film (although it would be hard to find a man of history as accomplished in multiple fields as she was) and you'll see how ridiculous is the script's focus on what was only one facet of the brilliant gem that was Gertrude Bell.

I urge anyone interested in history to read about this woman's life. Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, by Janet Wallach is a great biography.

Hollywood has perfected the fine art of trivializing and "romanticizing" women's history...yet again.


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