Lion of the Desert Essay

By July 19, 2017 General Studies

The 1981 movie. The Lion of the Desert starring Anthony Quinn and Oliver Reed is based on the true to life narrative of Omar Mukhtar ( 1862-1931 ) . a Libyan Arab Rebel who led his people in defying the colonial regulation of Italy in Libya for over 20 old ages. In 1911. Italy colonized Libya and made it portion of their imperium. Mukhtar ( played by Quinn ) was a instructor of Koran in his small town. Once the Italians invaded and conquered their land. he led his small town in rebellion against the Italians. He could non accept the conditions imposed on them. peculiarly to him since they had trouble get the better ofing him.

He said to them. “we will remain with you till your terminal. ” ( Akkad ) Despite non holding military experience. he proved to be a capable leader and was really clever. holding outwitted five Italian military governors who tried to get the better of him. Sing the trouble of get the better ofing Mukhtar. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini appointed General Rodolfo Graziani ( played by Reed ) as the new governor of Libya and convey down Mukhtar. Recognizing Mukhtar’s capablenesss. Graziani grudgingly admired his accomplishments when he said. “He’s good. ” ( Akkad ) .

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This led Graziani to seek a different maneuver where he resorted to reconcentration of villagers in cantonments to deny Mukhtar and his set assistance and made usage of armored combat vehicles and aircraft to get the better of Mukhtar until he was eventually captured. He was tried. convicted and hanged in 1931 at the age of 70. The movie was financed by the Libyan authorities of Mohmar Khadafy and from the manner it was presented. it served to advance Libyan patriotism and at the same clip denounce and villify imperialism. particularly in foregrounding the maltreatments and atrociousnesss committed by the Italians in Libya.

Another thing to observe is that the movie was made by an independent film outfit since major Hollywood studios would non work on it due to the bing animus so between the United States amd Libya. Yet despite their rebelliousness of imperialism. Mukhtar is depicted to be compassionate and greathearted. In one scene. he spared an officer after his unit was wiped out. He gave him the Italian flag he captured as a gesture of compassion. turn outing that despite their resistace. Mukhtar’s set were non barbarous barbarians and were merely contending to support their freedom ( Akkad ) .

On the portion of the Italians. the movie was banned for about 30 old ages because they regarded it as an abuse to Italian award from the manner Italian military personnels were depicted perpetrating atrociousnesss and other barbarous Acts of the Apostless against the Libyans. One scene showed a villager shooting by an officer while being interrogated in forepart of everyone. Another shows an Italian ground forces officer indiscriminately hiting villagers in the dorsum in revenge for the ambuscade of their military personnels ( Akkad ) .

Such scenes would shock anyone and this explained why old Italian authoritiess refused to demo this in Italy. Pressure from the socialist and broad cabals of the authorities made the opinion disposal relent and they eventually allowed it to be aired publically in 2009. This was in clip for Khadafy’s functionary visit to Italy and in a show of bluster. if non haughtiness. he came to Italy have oning a pin with Mukhtar’s image on it.

It can be inferred here that Mukhtar was a hero among Libyans and Khadafy wanted everyone to cognize about it. particularly the Italians. In decision. The Lion of the Desert is a film that serves a political intent as it promoted Libyan patriotism and serves to remind Libyans of their yesteryear that there were those who fought for freedom against a foreign power. Works Cited Lion of the Desert. Dir. Moustapha Akkad. Perf. Anthony Quinn. Oliver Reed. Falcon International Productions. 1981.


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