Lawrence of Arabia: A Flawed Hero

A “secretst man”, indeed, with his hidden guilt and shame of betraying his Arab friends and allies as he tried to facilitate a free independent Arab state after WWII. How he became world-famous and yet shunned the limelight and beat a retreat to Clouds Hill, his modest home in the English countryside after he’d abandoned military service and the Middle East. Quite the story complete with his love for an Arab young man, the possibly exaggerated torturous beating in Dera’a, and the real floggings he periodically chose before his unexpected accidental death at 47, riding (trying to avoid killing two cyclists) on his beloved motorcycle nicknamed Boanerges.

A fascinating two-hour watch reviewing the life-story of this unlikely hero of the British Middle East campaign. He shaped Arab-Western relations for generations to come. The movie draws on eyewitness accounts from Arabs, Westerners, and Lawrence himself and nicely complements David Lean’s epic film Lawrence of Arabia, filling in many more details and answering many questions raised by the famous movie.

Writer, director, producer James Hawes has done an excellent job of demystifying the enigmatic Lawrence of Lean’s movie. He has even shot on locations associated with Lawrence in a mix of black and white and color to create a realism and timelessness about his subject. I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate T.E. Lawrence, his fame, and his role in history better.

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