Letters from Baghdad

I usually manage to get to Ludlow Assembly rooms cinema, because they have a good programme. In May and June I've been seven times, often for exotic stuff which has attrracted an audience of single figures, but while they keep doing it i'll keep going, because the reqwards are so great. Last night, for instance, was Letters from Baghdad. I heard someone in the foyer describe it as “a little gem” and that’s about right. Based on Gertrude Bell’s letters about her travels and work in Iraq, it mixes the letters, read by Tilda Swinton, real-life comments from friends and enemies (using actors in costume), her own still black and white photos, and film footage from the time (1910 – 20s), in a seamless mixture which feels like a contemporary documentary. Utterly wonderful.