WIFF | FILMS

LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD

Review

Director:

Sabine Krayenbühl, Zeva Oelbaum

Genre:

Documentary

Country:

UK/USA/France

Rated:

UNRATED

Year:

2016

Language:

English/Arabic 

Runtime:

95 Minutes

Description:

Gertrude Bell was born in 1868, into a British family of great industrial riches. Unusual for the era, she was educated at Oxford.  After college she travelled extensively, but the trip that established the pattern of Bell’s existence was made to an uncle in Tehran in 1892, beginning her fixation with the Middle East. She learned Arabic and Persian, writing books about her experiences, and working at archeological sites.

 Much of the film consists of archived material: diary entries, correspondence, newsreel footage and other cinematic records, plus many evocative stills—Bell was, among her other accomplishments, a fine photographer. She was a contemporary of “Lawrence of Arabia” and in many ways, more important to the history of the Middle East than he.

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