I finally caught up with David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia recently and enjoyed it for reasons no critic could ever have prepared me for. Geopolitically it's one of the most candid movies I can think of.
It couldn't be made in these times as the Pentagon and CIA are gatekeepers of big budget movies. Put simply nothing goes out without approval. The last thing our owners want is a Hollywood Blockbuster about ordinary people gathering to protest against their government.
Instead we get fed our lines to keep saluting the military.
Historically the movie explains T.E. Lawrence's unusual leadership in The Sinai and Palestine Campaign as well as his role in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turkish rule.
The film is the only one I can think of that is even-handed in presenting the venality of the British Empire handing over to the US Empire. Films or Books are usually biased to one or the other but to acknowledge both sides of the Atlantic are built on other peoples suffering and other countries' resources is highly unusual.
At one point an American newsman explains his OSS role in drumming up American public interest in the Saudi Peninsula so that oil and the necessary wars for them can be sold. It's so blunt it makes the Syriana movie script look like a CIA appeaser.
Hold on to that thought though because it's our CIA buddies who torture, execute, kidnap and run the backbone of global drug trafficking while dividing countries by any means available including terrorism or using paedophile network blackmail.
Not many people know that MI6 trained ex-OSS agents moving to the newly formed CIA in 1947 and even less people realise its significance.
Why would London do that given the US Government's geopolitical strategic loyalty is clear from the Suez Crisis?
Why would the grand masters of the British Empire dirty tricks department give the secret sauce recipe away when it took centuries to acquire?
This movie does nothing to dispel the simplest yet most heretical answer to that question. It serves up a slice of history in the most important spot on the planet while ostensibly an Empire was handed over.