Directed by Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl (UK/USA/France, 2017, 95 min.). In English and Arabic with English subtitles.
Narrated and executive produced by Tilda Swinton, Letters From Baghdad tells the astonishing story of Gertrude Bell, a British spy, explorer and political powerhouse. Bell traveled widely in the Middle East before being recruited by British Military Intelligence to help draw the border of Iraq after World War I. The film chronicles Bell’s extraordinary journey into both the Arabian desert and the inner sanctum of British male colonial power. With unique access to documents from the Iraq National Library and Archive and hundreds of Bell’s own letters, the story is told entirely in the words of the players of the day, excerpted verbatim from letters, diaries, and secret documents. The film is a unique look at a remarkable woman and the tangled history of Iraq, revealing a past eerily relevant today.