There are a few spoilers (although only about the factual things) so if you don’t want to know anything about the film before you read it, stop now.
Tonight, Glen, Julian and I went to see The Imitation Game, the film about Alan Turing and the plan to crack the Nazi’s Enigma code during World War II. I’d read a bit about Turing and his work during the war. I knew he was homosexual and that he’d committed suicide sometime after the war ended. I didn’t know that he’d been arrested for indecency and been chemically castrated as part of his sentence. But before I go off on a bit of a rant about that, I’ll talk about the movie generally.
In short, it was excellent. Cumberbatch is a fine actor, and Keira Knightly was great too. The film was well put together, and there were some incredible moments of pathos. I had tears in my eyes more than once, and wanted to cheer when they finally cracked Enigma. The analysis of the effect of the Ultra program on the outcome of WWII was well done, and emphasised how important the work was to shortening the war and saving millions of lives – as well as also showing the cold calculations needed to fight such battles. (And of course we still haven’t changed our ways, just found better ways to kill each other.)
I’m sure the film was designed to do this, but by highlighting how important Turing’s work was, it nevertheless engenders outrage and how he suffered after the work was over, purely because he was homosexual. The three of us left in a state of shock and sadness and, at least for me, anger.
I read yesterday that in Virginia the State is trying to introduce a bill that makes it ok for businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians based on “religious or moral grounds”. Truly, this is not the “Kill The Gays” bill that Uganda recently introduced, or those that are in many other countries around the world, however, for a country like the US to even consider introducing such a thing, horrifies me. This is bigotry, pure and simple. It is discrimination, pure and simple. And it is downright wrong.
And sadly it is just one of any number of atrocities that take place around the world against people who are different from the majority. Instead of upholding and acting on values of equality, fraternity and liberty (yes, they’re French but how many politicians globally have been guilty of parroting these terms, yet doing the opposite because it offends their “religion or morals”) people live in fear of their lives within their own country. (And fear doesn’t have to be the knee-knocking, forehead sweating, teeth chattering kind, it’s also there whenever someone self-censors themselves because they know, or suspect, others will not approve, or worse, attack them.)
We’re supposed to have grown beyond this shit, for God’s sake.
I also learned that MI, as in MI5 and MI6, stands for Military Intelligence. I’m going to look up what the other four are.
Other than the film, my day has been spent editing, designing a magazine and building a website. Fun times. It’s also bitterly cold out there tonight (and during the day was pretty chilly as well). It’s almost cold enough to wear long johns again.