Gertrude Lowthian Bell, sometimes called the "female" Lawrence of Arabia was a British adventurer, archaeologist and political powerhouse, who helped shape the modern Middle East after World War I. Voiced and executive produced by Tilda Swinton, the film chronicles Bell's journey into the uncharted Arabian desert and all-male halls of colonial power with never-seen-before archival footage of the region shot a century ago. The film takes us into a past that is eerily current.
It's a very imaginative documentary. Tilda Swinton was perfect as the voice of Gertrude Bell.
So they took letters that Bell wrote and inserts from her journals and had Swinton narrate over footage from the Ottoman Empire or reenactments. Either would most likely be correct thanks to the advancements of cinematic technology of today. Adding to this are dramatization interviews with actors playing people that Bell knew in her time and could tell us about her.
Think I like this better than Queen of the Desert which stared Nicole Kidman. Both movies are important to tell the story of this important woman but of course, Letters to Baghdad portrayed a real Gertrude Bell. Queen of the Desert portrayed her as being on this pedi stool (Does not help that she's being played by a hot movie star), but I like how Letters to Baghdad more so pointed out the flaws, flaws that I think help let us know the type of woman it takes to do what Bell did.
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