Lawrence of Arabia opened with its world premier in 1962. The film depicted the life of Thomas Edward Lawrence and his travels and adventures in Arabia. The film was patterned after Lawrence's own autobiographical novel The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It took the audience through the conquest of Aqaba, Lawrence's capture and torture in Dera a, the massacre at Taf as, and the fall of Damascus. Lawrence was born an illegitimate child in 1888 in Oxford, England. His parents eloped and adopted the name Lawrence.
He was well educated and very bright; he earned a rite to attend Jesus College in Oxford, and graduated with Honors. He was interested in Literature and Archeology greatly. He began his Military career in Cairo, which is where the film opens. Lawrence was raised in the Church of England and was considered evangelical.
During his stay in Cairo, Lawrence was chosen to go to Hedjaz in a fact finding mission. He was to locate Prince Feisal, son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca. Sherif had rebelled against Turkish rule, and left his son to carry out the rebellion. The Turkish people at this time, during World War one, were allies of the German forces.
Lawrence made a comment in the beginning of the film when he was being guided by an Arab traveler. The traveler asked about his culture, about England. Lawrence said they were a nation of fat men. The traveler asked if he was a fat man and what made him different than the others in England. The traveler wanted to know why a white man would love the desert so. Lawrence responded with the comment that he himself was not a fat man.
This was the basis for his difference with his own culture. From the beginning of the film, when Lawrence started out on his journey to meet the Prince Feisal, he had to learn and make adjustments. He was in a hot, desert, climate much different from the climate of his home town of Oxford. He was introduced to different foods and mannerisms of the Bedouin people. After feeling like he had been accepted in to the Arab clan he adorned a white harith robe with the traditional sword. The men said this after giving him the clothes, "He for whom nothing is written may write himself a clan".
Lawrence had no real written family history and these men accepted him into theirs, he was becoming one of them. Lawrence also had to learn to ride a camel, and in the early stages of the movie his Arab guide showed him how to do that. One of the more important and crucial adjustments Lawrence had to make was when he had to execute the man he had saved days earlier. One of the men in his tribe had murdered another and according to Bedouin code he had to be executed and Lawrence was the one that had to do it. That was probably the most decisive adjustment he had to make, fallowing a strict code and killing a man. Lawrence traveled back to England after his stay in the Middle East and had to resume his way of living, however, he was bi cultural, while living in the Middle East, and it proved to be a problem at times.
After the capture of Aqaba, Lawrence volunteered to travel to Syria to tell the English of their accomplishment and to receive additional supplies. The Sharif his commander was upset because Lawrence would probably wear his traditional clothes rather than the harith robe he was used to. "They will be all right with me. Look Ali if any of your Bedouin arrived in Cairo and said we " ve taken Aqaba the generals would laugh", Lawrence said. "I see. In Cairo you will put off these funny clothes.
You will wear trousers and tell stories of our quaintness and barbarity. And then they will believe you", replies Sharif. Sah rif Ali was obviously hurt, and it caused strain in their relationship, because of the cultural difference. Lawrence was a desert-lover and truly respectful of the culture of the Bedouin people. He loved the culture and went back to the Middle East many times after the war was over. He later helped Feisal take over the throne and helped to set up the Kingdom of Trans Jordan.
Because of his love for these people he helped their area many times and in many ways. The film was a great depiction of the life of Thomas Edward Lawrence. It depicted his life and the cultural differences fabulously. Although some of the movie was fiction, it was mostly historically accurate.