Movie Review: Lion of the Desert (1981)

An unforgettable, sooo relevant, heroic movie…
that few people have even HEARD of ___ 10/10

Review by Brian R. Wright

lion_desertOmar Mukhtar: We do not kill prisoners.
Arab Warrior: They do it to us.
Omar Mukhtar: They are not our ‘teachers.’

Omar Mukhtar (to General Rodolfo Graziani): You have not one minute of right. Soon you will take everything from me and you want me to justify your thefts. No nation has the right to occupy another.

Omar Mukhtar: We will never surrender. We win or we die. You’ll have the next generation to fight and after that, the next. As for me, I will live longer than my hangman.

Directed by Moustapha Akkad
Written by David Butler, Paul Thompson

Anthony Quinn … Omar Mukhtar
Oliver Reed … Gen. Rodolfo Graziani
Irene Papas … Mabrouka
Raf Vallone … Colonel Diodiece
Rod Steiger … Benito Mussolini
John Gielgud … Sharif El Gariani
Andrew Keir … Salem
Gastone Moschin … Major Tomelli
Stefano Patrizi … Lt. Sandrini
Adolfo Lastretti … Colonel Sarsani

For this one-of-a-kind cinematic experience and for the review, I have Dean Hazel to thank. He’s been after me for a while to sling some ink at Lion of the Desert, and I’m terribly sad I hadn’t watched this 1981 movie many years ago. Why is this movie an ‘Essential?’ So many reasons. But in a nutshell, it treats Arabs as human beings while showing how the Italian fascist colonial power of the early 20th century committed a full-frontal holocaust—complete with concentration camps, torture, rape, terror bombing, and WMDs—on the indigenous people of Libya.[1] Continue reading