Lion of the Desert (Omar Mukhtar) (1981)
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as Omar Mukhtar
as Gen. Rodolfo Graziani
as Benito Mussolini
as Sharif El Gariani
as Maj. Tomelli
as Lt. Sandrini
as Ali's Mother
as Capt. Biagi
as Field Marshal
as Prince Amadeo
as Gen. Graziani's Aide
as Infantry Corporal
as Col. Sarsani
as President of Court
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Critic Reviews for Lion of the Desert (Omar Mukhtar)
It's one of the best anti-colonial Hollywood film ever (almost on a par with the Battle of Algiers).
An anti-colonial work that resonates with the struggle in Iraq today.
A grand epic adventure that'll stand as a highpoint in the producing career of Moustapha Akkad
Audience Reviews for Lion of the Desert (Omar Mukhtar)
Lion of the Desert possesses several problems that generally prove to be staples of historical epics (thinly-drawn characters, overwhelmingly bloated length, well-trod narrative dynamic focusing on a rebellion and an evil empire), and makes several ethical missteps by casting white actors to play Libyan historical icons. That being said, there are poignant moments, such as the intercutting of actual footage of Libyan concentration camps and the several excellently staged battle sequences. Flawed as it may be (there's no excuse for its nearly four hour running time), Lion of the Desert still effectively deconstructs the effects of Italian fascism and powerfully condemns western imperialism; these are enough to make it a success.
Underrated epic war movie on the end of Libya's resistance to Italy. Everything works and best of all the history is not even that far off. Oliver Reed makes for a great villain, combing charisma with a ruthless drive. The part where the tanks run people over is gruesome and horrifying.
Loved this movie, learned so much from it. I didn't really know anything about how Libya was occupied by Italian fascists during WW1. I didn't realize they had concentration camps back then. Saw this on TCM, it was introduced by a professor of Arabian studies, who thought this was the most sympathetic movie towards the Arabian people ever made. It's the only film that shows children being peaceful taught the Koran. Since the Libyans financed the movie, it was branded as propaganda, so it didn't get good reception or distribution. Really, who else was going to tell this story? It was banned in Italy because they couldn't deal with their past, and the professor said it was very historically accurate. Glad I stayed up for it, I never would have heard about it otherwise. Sad, but interesting and moving.
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