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Professor David Peimer
Lawrence of Arabia, the Film: Colonial Rule and Playing Both Sides

Saturday 15.06.2024

How to watch

This lecture starts on 15 June at 5:00pm GMT.


Ranked the 7th greatest film ever made by the American Film Institute, “Lawrence of Arabia” depicts Lawrence’s divided allegiance between his homeland of Britain and his perception of Arabia. In this masterpiece directed by David Lean and written by Robert Bolt (“A Man for All Seasons,” “Doctor Zhivago”), Lawrence is pulled between conflicting identities. The film is romantic and politically astute, using superb visuals to portray Lawrence’s shifting understanding of violence and war against the vast canvas of British colonialism and the Ottoman Empire. In this lecture, David Peimer asks, is it also a story of the insider as an outsider, depending on how the winds of fantasy and reality blow?

Professor David Peimer

head and shoulders portrait of david peimer looking at camera, smiling

David Peimer is a professor of theatre and performance studies in the UK. He has taught at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and New York University (Global Division), and was a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University. Born in South Africa, David has won numerous awards for playwriting and directing. He has written eleven plays and directed forty in places like South Africa, New York, Brussels, London, Berlin, Zulu Kingdom, Athens, and more. His writing has been published widely and he is the editor of Armed Response: Plays from South Africa (2009) and the interactive digital book Theatre in the Camps (2012). He is on the board of the Pinter Centre in London.