Orientalism Questions and Answers
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What are the elements of orientalism in the film Lawrence of Arabia directed by David Lean?  

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Despite the meticulous craftsmanship that went into David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, much of the film is dated and portrays typically stereotyped and "orientalist" attitudes about "the East" and the Arab world.

Much of the detail of the film is unrealistic, showing Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), though a flawed person, as also in some ways a nearly superhuman character, riding through the desert without a pith helmet, evidently because Lean wished to emphasize his courage and his blondness. The sudden ways in which Lawrence arrives at his inspirations on how to defeat the Turks are also a bit hard to take.

Apart from Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali, nearly all of the major roles are played by western actors. Regardless of the historical veracity of much of the script, the impression one gets from watching the film is that a European was required to lead the "easterners." Other epic films from the same period (the 1960s) show a similar approach, such as Khartoum , starring Charlton Heston as General...

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