QUEEN OF THE DESERT Images Featuring Nicole Kidman, Damian Lewis, and James Franco June 11, 2015 First stills from Werner Herzog’s latest, ‘Queen of the Desert,’ telling the true story of Gertrude Bell, played by Kidman, who was a British spy, an archaeologist and more at the turn of last century and ended up playing a major role in establishing the modern state of Iraq. She wielded an enormous amount of power for a woman of her era. Queen of the Desert QUEEN OF THE DESERT tells the story of Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) who, as historian, novelist and member of the British secret service, played a decisive role around 1920 in setting the course for the new political order in the Middle East. As an educated young woman, for whom no suitable husband can be found in England, she journeys to Tehran. After a tragic love affair with diplomat and inveterate gambler Henry Cadogan, she decides to give up on her private life and discover the region as an explorer. Before the backdrop of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire she learns languages, translates literature, meets with Muslim dignitaries in Cairo, Basra and Baghdad and earns their trust through her pluck and respect. Predestined to be a mediator between the Orient and the British Empire, she contributes to defining the new borders in the region after the First World War. And then love enters her life once again.