6.8/10
190
4 user 21 critic

Letters from Baghdad (2016)

Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day, shaped the destiny of Iraq after WWI in ways that still reverberate today.
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Dawson City: Frozen Time, pieces together the bizarre true history of a collection of some 500 films dating from 1910s - 1920s, which were lost for over 50 years until being discovered ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Morrison
Stars: Kathy Jones-Gates, Michael Gates, Sam Kula
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fights to save historic New York City during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s.

Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Stars: Thomas Campanella, Vincent D'Onofrio, Mindy Fullilove
ELIÁN (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Executive-produced by Alex Gibney, the documentary shares the remarkable story of Elian Gonzalez, the 5-year-old Cuban boy plucked from the Florida Straits on Thanksgiving Day in 1999. ... See full summary »

Directors: Tim Golden, Ross McDonnell
Stars: Raúl Esparza
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the spring of 1981 Irish Republican Bobby Sands' 66-day hunger strike brought the attention of the world to his cause. Drawing on an Irish Republican tradition of martyrdom, Sands' ... See full summary »

Director: Brendan Byrne
Stars: Gerry Adams, Mario Biaggi, Seán Donlon
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.

Director: Frederick Wiseman
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary that follows the efforts of "Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently," a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. ... See full summary »

Director: Matthew Heineman
Stars: Hamoud, Hussam, Mohamad
Step (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

STEP documents the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.

Director: Amanda Lipitz
Stars: Paula Dofat, Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Tells the story of Whitney Houston's extraordinary life and tragic death.

Directors: Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal
Stars: Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Bobby Brown
Risk I (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of WikiLeak's editor-in-chief Julian Assange as seen by documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras.

Director: Laura Poitras
Stars: Julian Assange, Sarah Harrison, Jacob Appelbaum
Sage femme (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A midwife gets unexpected news from her father's old mistress.

Director: Martin Provost
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet
Queerama (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Compilation of archive footage from 1919 to the present, from both documentary and fictional sources, set to music, illustrating the huge changes in LGBTQ life in Britain (mainly England) over the 20th century.

Director: Daisy Asquith
Menashe (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.

Director: Joshua Z Weinstein
Stars: Menashe Lustig, Yoel Falkowitz, Ruben Niborski
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Ammar Haj Ahmad ...
Muhammad Abd Al-Hussayn
...
Sgt. Frank Stafford
...
Sir Valentine 'Domnul' Chirol
...
David Hogarth
...
Janet Courtney
...
Sir Arnold 'A.T.' Wilson
Michelle Eugene ...
Dorothy Van Ess
...
Suleiman Faidhi
...
Sir Percy Cox
...
General Sir Gilbert Clayton
Jasper Jacob ...
Sir Nigel Davidson
Jürgen Kalwa ...
Dr. Friedrich Rosen
...
Mme. Jamil Zadeh
Zaydum Khalad ...
Fakhry Jamil
...
Young Gertrude Bell (voice)
Edit

Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gertrude Bell was as controversial as the history she made.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 November 2016 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$950,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,725 (USA) (2 June 2017)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)

Color:

(archival footage)| (Super 16mm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lonely Planet
26 August 2017 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Long before there were guide books and people trekked through the Middle East, Gertrude Bell travelled on a camel through desert areas only inhabited by roving bandit chieftains. She kept meticulous notes of the various tribes, their relationships, and even carried an expensive transit/theodolite. She developed a very strong attachment to the area and its peoples. This was an age of great exploration, witness Col. Fawcett exploring the Amazon. What all these explorers developed was an intense and passionate interest in the places they visited. They learned the languages and studied the habits of the people.

The directors tell the story of Gertrude Bell's time in Mesopotamia or modern day Iraq through her many letters. They are absolutely fascinating in that not only is her interior life and feelings revealed, but a good deal of information about the political and social conditions in the empire at that time. I believe the directors were smart to stick to the letters and make them the focus of the story. The documentary is brilliant in what it doesn't say. The viewer can make up their own minds, the information is pretty overwhelming. What I found most fascinating were the monuments and historical objects that were uncovered. They indicate far earlier and complex civilizations that had a grasp of our place in nature and in the cosmos. Bell went to great lengths to establish a museum to preserve these artifacts to man's origin. Curiously both T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell both had rather violent ends. One by an untimely motorcycle accident and the other by an overdose.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page