‘Letters from Baghdad’ shares true story of Gertrude Bell’s influence on the Middle East

Academy Award winning actress Tilda Swinton narrates “Letters from Baghdad,” the true story of Gertrude Bell, sometimes referred to as the female Lawrence of Arabia.

Often considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire, Bell was an explorer, spy, archaeologist and diplomat who helped shape the Middle East after World War I. She then┬áserved as an adviser to Winston Churchill and became an outspoken critic of colonial policies in Iraq. The film uses stunning never-seen-before footage of the region to help immerse you in Bell’s world. The story is told entirely in the words of Bell and her contemporaries, excerpted from letters, private diaries and official documents.

The film takes us into a past that is eerily current as it chronicles Bell’s extraordinary journey into both the uncharted Arabian desert and the inner sanctum of British Colonial power.

The biggest question, however, remains: Why has Bell been written out of the history she helped make?

Tune in Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. on Arizona PBS.

Sponsor message:

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

'How to Find Love Online' explores numbers and science behind online dating

"How to Find Love Online" shows the science and data behind online matchmaking, in which 1 in 5 committed couples met on the internet and 91 million of us around the world log on to internet dating sites.

'Castles in the Sky' tells humorous true story of pre-World War II scientists

Eddie Izzard stars in "Castles in the Sky," a funny, moving and inspiring drama about the pioneering work on radar by a real but little known team of scientists in the run up to World War II.

Explore daily faith and spirituality practices around the world with 'Sacred'

Become immersed in the daily use of faith and spiritual practice in more than 25 countries in "Sacred," airing Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. on Arizona PBS.