Feb 6, 2015 10:05 AM

Director: 'Queen of the Desert' no history lesson

The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) After opening with an Arctic adventure the Berlin International Film Festival is heating up with Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert" starring Nicole Kidman and James Franco.

Kidman's character is the historical figure of Gertrude Bell, a British spy and diplomat who played a key role in reshaping the Middle East during the early 20th century.

So can viewers at the festival Friday expect to learn more about the roots of the conflicts that are taking place in Syria and Iraq today?

Herzog says the film tells a story, not history, and doesn't attempt to criticize those who divided up the Middle East between Britain and France by drawing lines in the sand 100 years ago.


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