An intensely personal drama, the story of T.E. Lawrence is a story of courage and guilt, betrayal and triumph. The British Army Officer's role in the unification of the Arab tribes against the Turks during WWI endeared him to a generation of Bedouins, but it also set in motion a chain of events that Lawrence would be powerless to stop - events that would profoundly shape Arab-Western relations for generations to come. Filmed in England and throughout the Middle East, and including rare archival footage, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: THE BATTLE FOR THE ARAB WORLD draws upon eyewitness accounts of Arabs, Westerners, and Lawrence himself to tell the poignant and dramatic tale of one of the 20th century's most influential yet enigmatic figures.
Born to unmarried parents in the strict Victorian era, Lawrence is embarrassed by his illegitimacy. He spends most of his childhood alone, driving for physical and academic achievement. At Oxford, his passion for medieval history results in an expedition to study the great crusader castles of Syria, where he gains invaluable knowledge of the Arabs. While employed as an archaeologist, he is recruited by British intelligence to monitor Turkish activities. He also befriends an Arab who will deeply influence his views towards Arabs and their cause. After World War I begins, Lawrence becomes an intelligence officer in the British Army. His mission is to gather information about an Arab Revolt planned against Turkish rulers. In return for a promise guaranteeing their independence, the Arabs join the war on the British side. But a secret agreement between the British and French will shatter this dream. Torn by conflicting loyalties, Lawrence continues to assist the Arabs, becoming more deeply entrenched in their fight. Against all odds, he leads the Arabs in a daring attack on the Turkish port of Aqaba. It is a stunning success and a turning point for Lawrence, the Arabs, and the British.
Flush with victory, Lawrence and the Arabs continue their attacks on the Turks, inflicting serious damage. Undertaking increasingly dangerous missions, Lawrence is captured alone and brutalized by the Turks, but escapes. Though the experience is disputed by many, Lawrence stands by his story. After the Turks surrender Jerusalem, the Balfour Declaration paves the way for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In the hope that control of Damascus will legitimize Arab claims for independence, Lawrence leads the Arabs in an allied race for the city. However, soon after, the truth of the British deception is exposed. Now a celebrated figure to the British public, Lawrence returns to England and continues to fight for an Arab homeland in Europe. At the Paris Peace Conference, Britain, France and America draw new maps, ensuring their control over the Middle East. Reeling with guilt for his part in deceiving the Arabs, Lawrence retreats, enlisting as an ordinary recruit in the Royal Air Force. In 1935, he leaves the military for the last time, planning to spend his life in seclusion. Weeks later, he is killed in a motorcycle accident. Although gone, the impact of Lawrence's role on the Middle East will be felt for generations to come.