DVD - 2002
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A television adaptation of Michael Frayn's play about the 1941 meeting between Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, longtime friends whose work had opened the way to the atomic bomb, but who found themselves on opposite sides of World War II.
Publisher: Chatsworth, CA : distributed by Image Entertainment, c2002
Edition: Widescreen ed
Branch Call Number: DVD COP
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (117 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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May 07, 2017

See the DVD 's enlightening Bonus documentary first to more thoroughly cover the same issues with much more clarity. Then try the stagey, over-analytical, annoying movie which is frustratingly repetitious and lacking in background but poses intriguing intellectual and psychological issues, if you have the patience.

Apr 08, 2016

Heisenberg , German atomic physicist, visits Niels Bohr in Nazi-occupied Copenhagen perhaps to find out something about using atomic energy to build an atomic bomb. Does Heisenberg, a Jew, really want to find out how to build a bomb? Does Bohr really have any knowledge useful to Heisenberg? In this play we get a real cat and mouse game about who knows what and how they will use this knowledge to win the war. The structure of the film allows us to hear the inner thoughts juxtaposed with the word coming out of their mouths. Which of these physicists actually help kill the most civilians?

Gary Geiserman
Dec 18, 2014

A very few tidbits of actual knowledge mixed w/a deeply desired answer to a very not-interesting question (did Heisenberg conspire w/Nazis?). What diff does it make? His math was stellar and it’s direct implications that our scientific/mathematical system is fundamentally flawed and not an authority, by itself, of anything has been held in denial all this time. So has the implications of quantum mechanics (matter is not only an illusion, but is an option!). >>>>> A literary work that, as usual w/literature, is a substitute for knowing, for philosophy. No matter how hard Frayn tries he can’t assuage his ‘conscience’ about whether Heisenberg was a good man. Hey, WW2/Nazis was primarily about how this phenomenology is a binary/monism-illusion and qualities can ‘flip’ to their seeming opposite. ‘Sophies’s Choice’—since evil is a fiction of post-Jesus, being bad is a personal choice and can be forgiven; as opposed to ‘external’ badness never to be atoned. Quoting M Jagger, “it’s you and me”. >>>>> I woudn’t go on this way if the play/movie wasn’t begging for it. Sorry. Also, since Bond, Daniel Craig just doesn’t work as Heisenberg.

michlmac Jun 20, 2013

Since this TV movie is adapted from a stage-play rich in intellect/short on action, it is best to watch when you can pay attention. And since it is by the always-brilliant/always-excessive Michael Frayn, be prepared for brilliance and excess. It is a "memory" play and since memory is faulty as well as subject to reinterpretation, you may weary of Daniel Craig ringing the same doorbell. Just know that each time Stephen Rea answers the door, there will be another version of what may have/ might have occurred during the meeting of two of the world's greatest physicists in Nazi occupied Denmark. It has been noted that the presence of Niels Bohrs wife (Francesca Annis) keeps the dialogue at the layman's level, and if you like ideas-driven work, you may find this one brilliant.

Oct 04, 2011

A very interesting movie. The filming is very little more than a view of the play, which has few characters. Interesting speculations on the morality of the atomic bomb, historical motivations, and quantum mechanics.

johnf108 Aug 23, 2011

PBS programming at its best. The discussions and conflict of these two men who were best of friends---and many ways still were---torn by the Nazi threat and the threat of the atomic bomb, makes a very interesting and intelligent story. The human element makes you watch---and rewatch it.


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