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 Lawrence of Arabia

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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Tue 25 Apr 2017, 19:06

Thank you for reminding me, Temp, that's tomorrow or Thursday afternoon sorted. I meant to check dates before and forgot and now I find it's on at the GFT this week.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Wed 26 Apr 2017, 05:14

Ah Temp you'll drive yourself crazy trying to understand the ME, it is so enormously complex that we were idiots to ever have been involved in it in the first place. Or more to the point, governments full of their own self importance blundering into that of which they knew nothing and making the inevitable unholy mess of it.

As for Syria it is useful to remember that the current conflict began over oil, not really religion.  Two proposed oil pipelines and Assad decided on the Russian one (who were allies of Syria anyway) over and above the one that the Saudis, Qataris et all wanted and the rest is a war by proxy. Because of the vacuum left by the destruction of Saddam and Iraq the Iranians and Saudis are battling over dominance in the region, always preferable to do it on someone else's turf. Add to the mix the disinfranchised Sunnis of Iraq that became ISIS, the Israelis who want to get rid of Assad, the Turks who wanted to claim a piece of Syria and Iraq for their greater Turkey project, the meddling Westerners and every other man and his dog that has a bone to pick and we have the destruction of yet another beautiful country and its history causing a full half of it's population to become destitute refugees which small struggling states like Jordan, Lebanon and Greece are left to cope with.

Assad may be Alawite but Syria was a secular country none the less with a wide variety of different religions and sects rubbing shoulders fairly well for a long time. Well not any more.

Sorry not history, it is a struggle to get my head around the current these days without adding millenia of complex history into the mix.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Wed 26 Apr 2017, 10:02

ID wrote:
Ah Temp you'll drive yourself crazy trying to understand the ME, it is so enormously complex that we were idiots to ever have been involved in it in the first place. Or more to the point, governments full of their own self importance blundering into that of which they knew nothing and making the inevitable unholy mess of it.


I know - and I have indeed very nearly driven myself crazy trying to understand it all and trying to work out what the truth of it all is.

Lawrence and Bell understood a century ago that oil was going to be the cause of the trouble to come. They both were real experts on the ME, but the various governments - British, French and American - didn't want to know. They had their agendas and that was that.

Nothing changes, does it? I wonder what Lawrence and Bell would say to us were they to return.

Ferval - do let me know what you think of the film. We are unlikely to get it down here, although Exeter Picture House may show it. The DVD comes out at the end if June, I think, so I'll probably have to wait till then.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Wed 26 Apr 2017, 11:53

@Temperance wrote:


Nothing changes, does it? I wonder what Lawrence and Bell would say to us were they to return.



I told you so? Smile
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Sat 27 May 2017, 21:58

@Temperance wrote:
Gertrude Bell. What a life this woman had!

Finally I got to see this film today and what a superb production it is. A documentary of over an hour and half in duration and yet every frame is simply stunning. Admittedly there are some computer generated images, chronological eccentricities, excerpts from old Arabic feature films and other tricks of photography but these only serve to enhance the overall presentation. Truly a work of art.

It seems quite a cliche to say it but Gertrude Bell was indeed someone who was a century ahead of her time in her understanding of the Middle East. When one considers that in 1913 the Jewish population of Baghdad represented an estimated 30% of the city's inhabitants (in the film Gertrude estimates it as being as high as 40%) and consider the situation now, and when one considers also the sizable Chaldean and Assyrian etc Christian minorities living in Ottoman Mesopotamia at the time and how Bell saw that an appreciation of this plurality alongside the Shia and Sunni divide among the Moslem population, was literally critical if a meaningful Iraqi state were to be forged from the various vilyets and again consider the situation now, then one can see that her wisdom on these matters has thrice been ignored by 'the powers that be' the intervening 100 years.

My only criticism of the film (and it's a very minor one) is that the producers insisted on all of the British characters in it being depicted as having cut-glass received pronunciation accents. No English regional or Scottish or Irish etc accents in evidence. But that's just a minor quibble. I highly recommend the documentary to anyone who hasn't seen it.

P.S. There was a feature film directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicole Kidman as Gertrude Bell made a couple of years ago but that hasn't been released in the UK and so is not to be confused with this documentary.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Sun 28 May 2017, 12:33

Is this film available online - still haven't managed to get my TV fixed and am suspecting I'll have to replace it. I know nothing of Gertrude Bell so it might be wise if I were to learn something of her.
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Sun 28 May 2017, 14:00

It's not available online yet as far as I'm aware. It's still doing the rounds of the film theatre chains. The Europa group and the Curzon network seem to be the main ones although the schedule is somewhat haphazard and also depends on where one lives or where one can reasonably get to. Mrs Vizzer and I saw it yesterday at a Europa for example. The Cambridge Arts Picturehouse is showing it this weekend. The Screen in Saffron Walden will be showing it tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday).

Check here for local Europa listings:

Europa Cinemas Map

And here for Curzon:

Curzon Cinemas List

Here is the documentary makers' own website:

Letters From Baghdad
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Sun 28 May 2017, 21:54




Lady in retirement,

I mentioned already Gertrude Bell in this thread. I just put the German documentary overhere. But with the new concept of the forum there are a lot of problems to introduce the youtubes. For instance I have taken this from the thread. And I can't return anymore to my previous message preview.
I will send this first and then explain in a following message, while this one seems to be blocked...

Kind regards, Paul.


PS: Have to push on the "all content let appear" otherwise the youtube is again lost
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Sun 28 May 2017, 21:56




Lady in retirement,

I mentioned already Gertrude Bell in this thread. I just put the German documentary overhere. But with the new concept of the forum there are a lot of problems to introduce the youtubes. For instance I have taken this from the thread. And I can't return anymore to my previous message preview.
I will send this first and then explain in a following message, while this one seems to be blocked...

Kind regards, Paul.


PS: Have to push on the "all content let appear" otherwise the youtube is again lost
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Sun 28 May 2017, 22:02

Addendum to the previous message:

Lady in retirement,

here is the message:
Subject: Re: Lawrence of Arabia   Tue 7 Oct 2014 - 18:03


Did some years ago for the ex-BBC forum a lot of research for Gertrude Bell and the whole Middle-East situation including Lawrence of Arabia, when I saw the Arte film "the Baghdad Railway"
For Nielsen (who, if I recall it well, understands also German)
"insert here the youtube from above in German, which I can't obviously not transport overhere

 And for those who understand French:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9tt8o_le-chemin-de-fer-de-baghdad-14-18-1_news
The new episode of five is each time indicated at the bottom in an http...
Kind regards, Paul.
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