Jan 25

Secrets and Lies


Secrets and Lies that led to humiliation and death.

I had the pleasure of seeing The Imitation Game, the other night.  Yes, it was a pleasure to be drawn into the lives of the code breakers who fought demons, both inner and outer to break Hitler’s Enigma machine.

The Imitation GameI went to the theater with no preconceived notions about the movie.  My friends said it was good, but that doesn’t always mean I will enjoy it in the same way.  I am extremely critical when it comes to entertainment: books, movies, and television.  The content as well as the presentation has to be over the top for me to enjoy spending hours in a seat in a crowded theater.

Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) was a genius who had a dream as well as a secret.  He surmised that math could be used to solve all problems and ultimately be used to develop a thinking machine, a machine that could take over the work of any machine.  He was the first to develop a computer and what we now know as artificial intelligence.

The cast was superb, the story resonated, and the production was better than I anticipated.  In short, the movie was great.

Teamed with the nation’s brightest men (women were still prohibited from working in a man’s world), Turing proved that mathematical formulas could be used to solve most mysteries.  He and his team not only broke the Enigma Machine, they developed a formula the helped the allies defeat Hitler and his armies.

Alan Turing and his code breakerUnfortunately, Alan had a secret, a secret that would bring tremendous humiliation and ultimately his death.  He was a homosexual, which was not only illegal in Great Britain, it was cause for the government to revoke his top secret clearance and banish him and his work.

Homosexuality was illegal in the UK until 1967, 13 years after his death.  Turing committed suicide one year after undergoing court ordered chemical castration therapy.  His work as the key to developing the machine that saved millions and shortened the second world war by two years, meant nothing to the judge or to society.  Homosexuality was illegal, he committed a crime and would pay the consequences.

Behind Every Code Is An EnigmaIn 2013 Turing received a posthumous pardon and was recognized for the work he performed as well as his insights into computer technology and artificial intelligence.  He would have been 74 years old.  Imagine what technology and our world would be like had he lived and continued developing his theories.

This is a movie that I can recommend.  It was well performed and has a message that resonates.  Give it a try, you may just enjoy it.
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