Letters from Baghdad (PG)
UK/2016/95min/PG. Dir: Zeva Oelbaum, Sabine Krayenbühl. Voiced by Tilda Swinton
Openly critical of colonialism, this fascinating documentary explores the extraordinary life of English writer, archaeologist, diplomat and spy Gertrude Bell as she travels extensively throughout the Middle East to become the only woman to wield significant political power in British Imperial policy. Weaving remarkable archive footage together with her letters and testimony from Bell’s peers, including TE Lawrence, the film shows how her work offered a counterpoint to typical British all-male colonial power; and that her ideas about the future of the region were in many cases stunningly prescient.