Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Codebreaker, dir. Clare Beaven and Nic Stacey, 2011, UK, 82 min. 
Tuesday, June 25, 11:30 am @ Castro

Alan Turing (Ed Stoppard) and
Dr Greenbaum (Henry Goodman)
The actual Alan Turing
©Nat’l Portrait Gallery
Alan Turing was one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century, up there with the likes of Albert Einstein. Turing also played a pivotal role in the top-secret British project to break the Nazis’ Enigma cipher, putting him up there with the likes of Dwight Eisenhower in helping the Allies win World War II. On top of that, he laid the groundwork that led to the creation of every computer we have today, from the greatest supercomputer down to the lowliest calculator wristwatch. Turing was also a gay man. He was arrested and charged with gross indecency, and subsequently “chemically castrated,” all because he was naïve enough to think that burglary was a greater crime than buggery. Codebreaker is a “docudrama,” meaning that many of the scenes are recreations of events and conversations in Turing’s life, particularly his conversations with Dr. Franz Greenbaum, a psychiatrist. We see Turing’s genius and some of its ripples from the pre-war years into the present, as well aspects of his personal life, leading up to his arrest and eventual suicide. The British government finally apologized (or I should say apologised) in 2009, 55 years after his death, for his appalling treatment and persecution. It’s about time that he gets the recognition he deserves as a genius and a national hero, rather than as a deviant criminal. A tale supremely worth telling, well told; Highly Recommended, a Must See.

IMDb pageOfficial website • UK Channel 4 website

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