Very interesting to think about in terms of Muslim cinema; it definitely challenges Western conceptions of the epic, about ways to tell history, about audience & action...a bunch of things. Partially funded by Gaddafi's Libyan government, it's an entertaining slice of nationalist propaganda, anchored by a commanding lead performance by Anthony Quinn, Hollywood's foremost "ethnic" white actor. A very complex film.
I haven't run across a whole lot of movies that focus on Italy's atrocious African campaigns other than the ones made by Italians in the final decade of the fascist regime. The production is great and Anthony Quinn compelling enough. It repeats some of the "let my people go!" vibe of 'The 10 Commandments' and shares some anti-Axis desert romp vibe with 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' Maybe watch watch it with 'Ghandi.'
I have no clue whether this is historically accurate, so keep that in mind with the review. I don't understand why Muhktar didn't fake a surrender, would've completely caught the fascists off guard, and it would have given them the advantage. I would have faked a surrender, got a good look at the lay of the land before making moves.