Bring peace to the Middle East! 9: Seeing the Middle East and Arab world in films 2: Lawrence of Arabia


中東に平和を! 9: 映画に見る中東とアラブ世界 2: アラビアのロレンス



Today, I introduce the epic “Lawrence of Arabia”.

The scene of men fighting in desert was pictured by splendid beautiful images and music.

It is one of the unforgettable movies.







< 2. Setting of the film, 1916-1918 >

< 2. 映画の舞台、1916-1918年 >

A brown line is a railroad that was an important supply route of the Ottoman Empire.


The red marks show the main setting.

No.1 is Cairo, the capital of British protected country Egypt at that time, and there was a headquarters of the British military.

No.2 is Medina, one of the Holy sites of Islam being comparable to Mecca, and father of Faisal I who appeared in this film had ruled over this eastern coast of the Red Sea (Kingdom of Hejaz).

No.3 is Aqaba, and there was a fortress of the Ottoman Empire here because having been a strategic point of the marine traffic at that time, therefore it was an obstacle of supply route for the British military.

No.4 is Damascus, and was a provincial capital of the Ottoman Empire at that time.


The light red range is desert Nafud that Lawrence succeeded in traversing.





No.1は カイロで、当時、英国の保護国エジプトの首都で英軍の司令部があった。








Summary of the film

― Production ―

The U.K. made it in 1962. The director is David Lean and Peter O’Toole is playing the role of Lawrence.


― Contents ―

It is a fictionalization of true-life epic historical story.

The setting is the west side of Saudi Arabia in 1916-1918 of the last of the World War I.

British officer Lawrence was first ordered reconnaissance of Prince Faisal who had led a struggle for independence of Arab.

However, he led the struggle of Arab, and before long succeeded in attack of fortress and railroad of the Ottoman Empire.

At last, he and Arab captured Damascus by themselves, and the Ottoman Empire collapsed by the attack of the British military.


However, after the victory, the national congress by the Arabic patriarch became out of control due to clash of their egos.

And Lawrence left the Middle East in frustration.






















  • * 3

Upper photo: Lawrence gets orders in a headquarters of the British military of Cairo.

Central photo: Prince Faisal who leads a struggle for independence of Arab.

Lower photo: The discourse with the Prince Faisal in Medina neighborhood.

Here, Lawrence deviates from his reconnaissance duty, proposes a major offensive and will lead in the struggle later.


上の写真: カイロの英軍司令部で命令を受けるロレンス・

真中の写真: アラブ反乱軍のリーダーであるファイサル王子。

下の写真: メデイナ近くでファイサル王子との会談。





  • * 4

Upper photo: The Arabic patriarchs being main players in the struggle get together.

Central photo: They begin an easy advance while riding on camels.

Lower photo: This Aqaba fortress just before their attack.


上の写真: 戦いの主役、アラブの族長が勢ぞろい。

真中の写真: 駱駝に乗って快進撃を始める。

下の写真: 攻撃直前のアカバ要塞。



  • * 5

Upper photo: Just blasted railroad.

2nd photo from top: The Arabic patriarchs recognize Lawrence, and a clothes of the patriarch is presented to him.

3rd photo from top: Arab alternates between hope and despair to spoils.


Lower photo: They attack to a strategic place Damascus of Ottoman military.


上の写真: 鉄道の爆破。

上から2番目の写真: アラブの族長達から認めら、族長の衣服を贈与されたロレンス。

上から3番目の写真: 略奪品に一喜一憂するアラブの族長。

下の写真: オスマン軍の要衝ダマスカスへ侵攻。




  • * 6

Upper photo: Lawrence angers at confused Arab national congress in Damascus.

Central photo: Lawrence became an unneeded man for Prince Faisal and the U.K.

Lower photo: An actual photo. The center is the Prince Faisal, and the right back of that is Lawrence.


上の写真: ダマスカスでの、混乱するアラブ国民会議に怒るロレンス。

真中の写真: ファイサル王子と英国にとって不要となったロレンス。

下の写真: 実物写真。中央がファイサル王子、右後がロレンス。



A delicate white handsome man adapts himself to desert and Arab, and he comes to be recognized as a hero by his strategy and courage.

However, during the battle, desire for revenge and overconfidence come to lead him to madness.


When the struggle is over, in contrast with his deep sympathy for Arab, the situation goes.

The heroic image of Lawrence becomes the interference for occupation policy of mother country, the U.K., and for Arabic patriarchs that wish themselves independence.

The scene that Lawrence is leaving in frustration seems to indicate confusion of the Middle East.


After that, Britain and France are adept at managing Arabic patriarchs, draw boundary lines in the Middle East, and will allocate King and inhabitants to the territory.

As a result, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan were created.















Problem point

At that time of movie release, I didn’t mind that the film had described Arab as thoroughly barbarian and ignorant.

But I have a feeling of strangeness of it now.

It is connected with an Indian coming out by horse opera of Hollywood.


This continues next time













Categories: book+ film+drama, culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: Bring peace to the Middle East | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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