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Film Programs
Special Events: Winter 2017
Gertrude Bell: Letters from Baghdad

March 25 at 3:00
East Building Auditorium

Introduced by Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl

One of the most powerful figures to emerge in the Middle East before and during World War I was a British spy, explorer, writer, and dynamo named Gertrude Bell — the “female Lawrence of Arabia” who in many respects was more influential than her colleague T. E. Lawrence. Letters from Baghdad reveals Bell’s unusual story through historical footage recently unearthed in private archives, and chronicles her journey into both an uncharted Arabian desert and the inner sanctums of British colonial power. Tilda Swinton reads from Bell’s letters, diaries, and other primary documents as the film makes a profound statement about a woman who not only mastered the Arabic language but studied the region’s rich cultural legacies while setting a course for the future of the Middle East. (Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl, 2016, 95 minutes)

courtesy Gertrude Bell Archives, Newcastle University

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