Friday 6th April: Letters From Baghdad (PG)

UK/USA  –  Documentary  –  Year: 2016  –  Running time: 95 mins
Languages: English, Arabic

Voiced by Tilda Swinton, this fascinating documentary, screened to critical acclaim at LFT 2016, explores the extraordinary life of English writer, archaeologist, diplomat and spy Gertrude Bell. An expert on what was then ‘Mesopotamia’ – the Middle East, she was the only woman wielding any kind of influence on the region in the years following the 1st World War. A film that will provide many insights into the problems besetting the region today.

A carefully researched documentary that uses an extraordinary wealth of appealing archival footage accompanied by Tilda Swinton’s voiceover as Bell.
Jay Weissberg (Variety)

Directors: Sabine Krayenbühl, Zeva Oelbaum
Krayenbühl (Editor): Salinger (2013) / Virgin Tales (2012) / The Bridge (2006)
Krayenbühl (Ed.) & Oelbam (Producer) : Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber (2009)
Tilda Swinton                                …   Gertrude Bell (voice)
Ammar Haj Ahmad                       …   Sgt. Frank Stafford
Tom Chadbon                               …   Sir Valentine ‘Domnul’ Chirol
Simon Chandler                           …   David Hogarth
Joanna David                              …   Janet Courtney
(for full cast, and more information, see “Letters From Baghdad” in IMDB)

Selected UK reviews:

The Guardian (Leslie Felperin)
Time Out (Cath Clarke)
The Telegraph (Margarette Driscoll)

Official trailer: