4 user 21 critic

Letters from Baghdad (2016)

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.
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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)


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


Gertrude Bell was as controversial as the history she made.




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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 November 2016 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$950,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,725 (USA) (2 June 2017)


$254,370 (USA) (14 July 2017)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)


(archival footage)| (Super 16mm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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User Reviews

Don't like It
2 August 2017 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

Well I see Gertrude Bell one of the main persons who's responsible for all the violence in the Middle East. So I don't like G.B. presented as if she was worried about the people in these regions.... I agree with Subxerogravity that wrote;

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 Pei 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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