Rutabaga Posted January 6, 2015 Report Share Posted January 6, 2015 Just finished watching a DVD of "The Imitation Game" which opened in theaters on December 25. The film is about Alan Turing, the extraordinarily gifted mathematician and pioneer of what we now know as computer science, whose many accomplishments included spearheading the effort to break the German "Enigma" code during World War II. The film details his efforts at Bletchley Park, the location near London of the Enigma decryption effort in the 40s, from the perspective of a flashback from his arrest for the crime of homosexuality in the early 1950s. To the eternal shame of the British people, Turing was prosecuted (successfully) for homosexuality, and offered a choice of two years in prison or a course of hormonal "chemical castration," supposedly to protect society by quelling his homosexual urges. Turing chose the latter, but his life became so unbearable that he committed suicide at the age of 41 after one year of the treatments. Thus, British homophobia basically killed one of the leading intellects of the 20th century. He certainly did not deserve to die. And although in very recent years steps of atonement have been taken, such as a posthumous pardon for his conviction, it all seems way too little and way too late. The shame will not go away. Anyway, it's a terrific film and worth seeing. R (Note, by the way, that the DVD I refer to above is a legal "awards screener" that is sent at this time of year to people involved in the entertainment industry who vote in connection with the various awards programs in early 2015.) Quote Link to comment
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