Letters from Baghdad is the story of a true original – Gertrude Bell – sometimes called the female Lawrence of Arabia. Voiced and executive produced by Tilda Swinton, the film tells the dramatic story of this British spy, explorer and political powerhouse. Bell travelled widely in Arabia before being recruited by British military intelligence during the First World War to help draw the borders of Iraq and as a result helped shape the modern Middle East. Using never-seen-before footage of the region, the film chronicles her extraordinary journey into both the uncharted Arabian Desert and the inner sanctum of British colonial power. Told entirely in the words of Gertrude Bell and her contemporaries, taken from their intimate letters, private diaries and official documents, it offers a unique look at both a remarkable woman and the tangled history of Iraq.