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Did the inventor of computing save millions of lives?

June 12, 2015

The Imitation Game film stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly, and is based on the book “Alan Turing: the Enigma” by Andrew Hodges.

I’ve never reviewed a DVD before but I watched the library’s copy of the Imitation Game recently and it is brilliant. Others agree as it won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Even if you’re not a Benedict Cumberbatch fan, this film is worth seeing. Set in England during the Second Wimageorld War, it tells how Alan Turing and his team cracked the Nazi Enigma code.

Alan Turing, due in no small part to his homosexuality, is not a household name in England. His work and the work of his team is only coming to light now, more than 60 years after his death. Ridiculed and bullied from an early age, this awkward man potentially saved millions of lives, but his work was clouded in mystery and secrecy, and his arrest after the War for gross indecency removed his name from the annals of recent history to all intents and purposes. Benedict Cumberbatch who played him so well is amongst the loudest protesters asking for more recognition for Alan and I can see why. He worked tirelessly on cracking the impossible code, came up with the concept of computers and built one of the first computers and saving, through a complicated web of misinformation and leaked lies, millions of lives and possibly shortening the war by more than two years. Breaking the Enigma code was one of the most closely guarded secrets of not only the war but the next 50 years.

There have been many books written about this amazing accomplishment but this film shows the heartache and commitment that Alan and his team faced. Unlike other films that glorify and exaggerate,  this film simply shows that British ingenuity and determination under intense pressure to achieve, finally got the results that no one expected, except possibly Alan. That his life ended so sadly is perhaps one of the most shameful parts of recent British history.

I am not a war film fan, there is no burning love story here and it does not glorify or sugar coat someone who was essentially a highly unlikeable individual. But what it does is tell honestly (well as honestly as any film can while still being entertainment) a story that we should all know. Thank goodness today, we as a nation, do not view homosexuality as a crime, in light of the ground breaking vote in Ireland recently, this film is doubly timely and well worth watching.

And if, like me, you are a Benedict Cumberbatch fan, all the better.

Corinna

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