A riveting portrait of Gertrude Bell, one of the most important and enigmatic figures in the creation of the Middle East.Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence In Arabia
Born in Washington New Hall in what was then County Durham, archaeologist Gertrude Bell had a remarkable life.
Gertrude Bell was a pioneering English writer, archaeologist, diplomat and spy whose travels through the Arabian desert gave her local knowledge unparalleled by her British peers. Recruited by British Military Intelligence after World War I, she played a significant – often unrecognised – role in British imperial policy-making in the Middle East, notably Iraq.
Reflecting on the life, work and character of this remarkable woman, the film weaves together a rich tapestry of fascinating archive alongside Bell’s writings, letters to her parents voiced by Tilda Swinton, and testimony from peers including TE Lawrence and Vita Sackville-West. Though writing a century ago, the acute contemporary relevance of Bell’s words is astonishing – at times even chilling.
The screening on Saturday 22 April at 17:50 will feature a live Q&A with filmmakers Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum. Please note that this event is now sold out.
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