Letters from Baghdad (Plus Guest Speaker)

April 10

Truly fascinating documentary about Gertrude Bell known as the most important woman in the British Empire in the early twentieth century. Bell influenced middle eastern diplomacy and territorial affairs while striving to promote understanding of the Arab world. Now mostly remembered as the female TE Lawrence and perhaps misremembered as the woman who shaped the post-WWII destiny of Iraq, this imaginative film brings her work and life to contemporary audiences to make up their own minds. To think of this as a dry documentary would be mistaken, the content is fascinating with current relevance, and it is brought vividly to life by Tilda Swinton giving voice to Bell’s letters spliced with original and digitised archival footage, some not seen by audiences before, as well as actors portraying people that Gertrude Bell knew.

‘Fleshes out a complex, fascinating figure.’ Jay Weissberg, Variety

2 wins so far and 2 nominations.


Tilda Swinton voice over, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Adam Astill, Tom Chadbon

Film Information

Title Letters from Baghdad (Plus Guest Speaker)
Directed by Sabine Krayenbuehl and Zeva Oelbaum
Country UK/USA/France
Classification PG
Running Time 93 mins
Release Year 2016
Subtitles Yes
Colour Yes
Film Notes Download