The Information Aesthetics blog shows how the beginning of the film The Kingdom uses information graphics and digital effects to present a particular narrative about the history of modern Saudi Arabia to set the stage for the movie to follow.
There are a lot of other shrunk-down histories of the Middle East on the Internet right now, from the pro-Israel History in a Nutshell PowerPoint to History of the Middle East . . . in a Couple of Minutes from conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.