“Who the bloody hell is this Gertrude Bell?” asks one of the men determining how to conquer and divide the Middle East. “She’s the maker of kings,” another grandly replies.
Writer-director Werner Herzog’s latest movie, Queen of the Desert, concerns the story of this significant female power player, renowned in the history books for her involvement in that troubled part of the world.
Nicole Kidman plays Bell – a traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché (spy) for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th century. At one point in her accomplished lifetime, she worked with T.E. Lawrence and is credited with mapping Iraq and Jordan in the early 1900s. The real-life Bell is even buried in Baghdad.
Herzog’s sweeping story includes glimpses of her relationships with Lawrence (played by Robert Pattinson), Charles Doughty-Wylie (Damian Lewis) and Henry Cadogan (James Franco).
The movie screened earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival. However, Atlas Distribution – the company handling the movie in the U.S. – have yet to announce an official release date for the film.
Watch the trailer below.