Check the trailer for Werner Herzog’s latest, Queen of the Desert, in which Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, a very real woman who had a hand in the creation of modern Iraq.


It’ll be interesting to see how this movie turns out. Bell is a genuinely groundbreaking and fascinating figure, but it could very easily run off the rails. You have to scroll awfully far down the IMBD page before running across any non-UK character names, and considering the long-running ramifications of the British Empire’s presence in the Middle East, it’ll be really tough to stomach too many moments of ballroom emoting. Plus, Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence? Hm.

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I’m really interested to see if they explore the long term ramifications of wandering around the desert arbitrarily making borders and declaring people kings, but they probably won’t. The carving up of the former Ottoman Empire has had such an impact on the Middle East and beyond it would be a shame if they make the movie into a love story.