Letters From Baghdad

A IST film review

I am, as my regular visitors know, a Middle East student for I am always reading, researching and writing about the situations and events and history of the region.

I do not usually do a review for most people would find the subjects I watch a bit tedious and boring……but from time to time I watch something that I think might interest my readers….

“Letters From Baghdad” is one of those films…..it is a documentary about a wonderful person in the history of the Middle East, Gertrude Bell…..narrated by Tilda Swinton…..her life, her thoughts and her place in Middle East history.

In British diplomatic group photographs of the early 20th-century Middle East, amid the plumes and uniforms and the calm paraphernalia of an empire going to hell in a bucket, there is often a solitary female. The woman is slim, with a head of luxuriant hair, and neatly dressed in billowing muslins or in the pencil silhouette and cloche hats of jazz-age Baghdad.

The woman is Gertrude Bell, who is as responsible as anybody for the rickety national state first known as Mesopotamia, and now as Iraq. As a powerful official of the British administration in Baghdad after the first world war, Bell ensured that an Arab state was founded from the three Ottoman provinces of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra, but one which was too weak to be independent of Britain. “I had a well-spent morning at the office making out the southern desert frontier of the Iraq,” she wrote to her father on December 4 1921.


Anyone that likes history and strong women in history should watch this movie…..

And you do not have to order the movie and wait for it to appear…..

The Old Professor has found a way to watch it immediately…….


Please enjoy and I would like to hear what you think of the person as well as the documentary.

Yep, this is a sneaky way of injecting some history into your weekend…..

Plus a wide screen adaptation of the book about Gertrude Bell, “Queen of the Desert” has been released….I have not watched it yet but I would like to include a trailer for the film starring Nicole Kidman….

Her book of letters are the basis of the movie “Letters From Baghdad”….it is fascinating reading about her life and her love of Iraq and the desert…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

8 thoughts on “Letters From Baghdad

  1. I watched the trailer and continued to the film link. But it wanted credit card details for registration, and I am not happy to do that with a company I don’t know. I will look out for that Kidman film though.
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. No I don’t have that, chuq. I already have a streaming service called NOW TV, and Netflix. But I can’t afford to pay for any more. My wife has Amazon Prime, but we cannot access the TV content without a different set-up at home.

  2. Sounds like a good film. I will put it on my list of movies to watch. I also sent to the link but when it required me to register I moved on. I don’t register generally on unknown sites, or even known sites.

    I never heard of the lady until the woman until you mentioned her. My reaction is that it was unfortunate that one person had the power to draw the maps and make decisions for so many people. And she came to the wrong decision. She made bad choices. That is not uncommon for people who reach positions of power and are known and recognized as great people.

    1. When she “drew” the borders she was thinking about the people of that region….Sykes-Picot divided the region between France and UK she was trying to keep the people of Iraq from being split up chuq

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