Queen of the Desert

Queen of the Desert

DVD - 2017
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A true story of a trailblazing woman who found freedom in the faraway world of the Middle East. Gertrude Bell chafes against the stifling rigidity of life in turn-of-the-century England, leaving it behind for a chance to travel to Tehran. So begins her lifelong adventure across the Arab world, a journey marked by danger, a passionate affair with a British officer, and an encounter with the legendary T.E. Lawrence.

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w
wbayley
Sep 27, 2019

Too obviously a Nicole Kidman vehicle. I have read Gertrude Bell and Kidman is nothing like her.

l
libertytoday2003
Aug 02, 2019

This is the second time I am trying to comment. The last time my account closed off, not sure why. So, Gertrude Bell would have made an even greater story had they kept it historical, less so her love affairs. She was an interesting character during her time because women seldom went out into the world and did anything. Winston Churchill obviously valued her insight of the Arab-Muslim world as seen through the eyes of a British upper class female. She could do things that men would have had great difficulty doing. She was obviously no threat to Arab-Muslim patriarchy, therefore she would have been received as a British dignitary. Most of the problem with what she saw was that it was emotionally driven by her making her views from an emtional point of view. She saw what she wanted to see, but as a woman she failed to see the Islamic World driven by greed and avarice by the Arab-Muslim Elites. She actually helped the new Arab dynasties determine their boundaries later on. I had wondered if she had anything to do with determining Israel's existence, but realized she died in 1926. Still we cannot diminish her contributions to seeing the Islamic World. We just didn't see it for the truth of it, but only the romanized version in the movie.

2
21221018293347
Jun 18, 2019

I have read about Gertrude Bell, but this movie was rather sappy. Perhaps with a younger actress than Nicole Kidman.

j
jdt660
Apr 23, 2019

I selected the movie for the actors, so I did not realize until the end this was based on truth. The movie itself was beautiful. No, it was not full of exciting action, but it kept my interest throughout. Now I want to read the biography of Gertrude Bell. How is it that I did not know about this amazing woman?

b
BBRUTTIG
Feb 20, 2019

it was ok...not really good,.

k
KennethSmith
Dec 07, 2018

The viewer soon grows tired of the absurdities and outright errors that run from the beginning to the very end of this uninvolving movie by the highly regarded Werner Herzog. Gertrude Bell is a legendary figure out of history who sadly deserved a more fitting film.

r
richmole
Sep 10, 2018

A movie with three levels. Enjoy it was a travelogue, a memoir, a drama. Most of all, enjoy it for its visual presentation; superb cinematography of some of the world's most forbidding landscapes--and over 1,500 extras.

What and who is it about? Gertrude Bell. Star Nicole Kidman called her "the female Lawrence of Arabia. She was English, and basically defined the borders between Iraq and Jordan that exist today, borders that she negotiated between Churchill and different Arab leaders. She went out to the desert with the Bedouin and all the different tribes that were feuding at the turn of the 20th century."

The film--which infamous director Werner Herzog won the right to direct against Ridley Scott--was an uncontested commercial flop (It cost $36 million to make and theatre tickets brought in a mere $2 million) and something of a critical failure, too.

Want fast-paced action? You won't find it here...this one moves at the pace of a dromedary--one reason why the critics hated it. One called it a "passionless trudge."

It's not the first commercial failure Herzog has made--some failures are fascinating and memorable--and, thanks in no small measure to his long-time cameraman, Peter Zeitlinger, Queen of the Desert is one I'll remember.

s
singidunum_25
Aug 14, 2018

Movie is based on extraordinary life story, but retold in very ordinary way. Moves very slowly, followed with very quiet dialogue. Music is appropriate and nice, costumes as well. This movie you will forget, but you will remember Gertrude Bell's story.

c
chaliser
Jul 25, 2018

For this movie I make no claim of rights or capacity to assess the history of the Beduins, know anything about the bio of the heroin, let alone care for perfect accents, and therefore have no arcing bolts of lightning for who should play what part. Thus, am a pitiful critic. What I noticed was a constant underlying love and appreciation of, and striving for deeper understanding for, the culture(s) of the people(s) of the Mid-East, and possibly some concern for how "foreigners" to the desert might work with them to develop a more peaceful shared respect. In this, I think Kidman's soft voice, gracious manner, copious knowledge-gathering mind, went well with with her obviously physically tough nature. And when I think of it, what better combination would win the respect of men who respected culture while having to be so ready to do combat? In any case, this is about someone who always did her homework before she entered into a situation, and when she couldn't outwit, she could soothe with the poetry of the culture of whom she was meeting. Thanks to the previous comments so I'd know where to begin with this. And, by the way, I want the soundtrack! :-)

c
cmarie20
May 24, 2018

Loved this movie!

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