Letters From Baghdad, voiced and executive produced by Academy Award-winning actor Tilda Swinton, tells the extraordinary story of Gertrude Bell, sometimes called “the female Lawrence of Arabia”. One of the most powerful figures to emerge in the Middle East during and after World War I, Bell was a British spy, explorer, writer and political powerhouse. More influential than her colleague T.E. Lawrence, Bell helped draw the borders of Iraq and established the Iraq Museum, which was infamously ransacked during the American invasion in 2003. Using never-seen-before archival footage of Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, and Teheran shot a century ago, the film chronicles Bell’s remarkable journey into the uncharted desert and inner sanctum of British male colonial power. It is a unique look at both a complex woman and the tangled history of Iraq, and is eerily current.
Directors Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum will attend the evening and participate in a Q&A after the film.