Lion of the Desert



Directed by: Moustapha Akkad

(158 mins, with additional 23 min documentary) The year is 1929 and dictator Benito Mussolini [Rod Steiger] is still faced with the 20 year long war by Bedouin patriots to combat Italian colonization and the establishment of "The Fourth Shore" - re-birth of a Roman Empire in Africa. Anthony Quinn plays Omar Mukhtar, the teacher who leads the resistance. This film is valuable as an illustration of Italian colonialism in North Africa and a good contrast to that of the French and the British. The documentary on how the film was made makes this even more valuable for the classroom.