Englishwoman Gertrude Bell made the most of her unmarried existence by becoming a renowned archaeologist, explorer, writer, traveler, cartographer, spy and political officer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” Bell, known as “the female Lawrence of Arabia,” is played by Nicole Kidman as an adventuress and diplomat enthralled by the freedoms promised by the Middle Eastern countries she visits.
The international trailer for “Queen of the Desert” finds Bell embracing worlds she’s eager to know and rejecting a series of men (James Franco, Damian Lewis, Robert Pattinson) who fall head over sandals in love with her.
Here’s the press description of the film:
“The film tells the story of Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) who, as historian, novelist and member of the British secret service, played a decisive role around 1920 in setting the course for the new political order in the Middle East. As an educated young woman, for whom no suitable husband can be found in England, she journeys to Tehran. After a tragic love affair with diplomat and inveterate gambler Henry Cadogan, she decides to give up on her private life and discover the region as an explorer. Before the backdrop of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire she learns languages, translates literature, meets with Muslim dignitaries in Cairo, Basra and Baghdad and earns their trust through her pluck and respect. Predestined to be a mediator between the Orient and the British Empire, she contributes to defining the new borders in the region after the First World War. And then love enters her life once again. Werner Herzog uses the vast desert landscapes to depict the architecture of his characters’ souls. A panoramic epic about the woman who has gone down in history as ‘the female Lawrence of Arabia.'”
A US release date for “Queen of the Desert” has yet to be announced.