6 June 2009 | Roxannet
I can hear God --- thinking
I am not a scientist, I have no scientific bent. Nor have I ever studied the odd couple pairing of Einstein and Eddington. I simply have the greatest of respect for David Tennant as an actor, and so watched this film with an eye to Mr Tennant's performance. However, my expectations were more than met with this tribute to an early 19th century event, which changed the course of science as it had been known before. Evidently, Einstein, a German born scientist with 'crazy' ideas, had moved to Switzerland to marry and raise a family, while Arthur Eddington, a gay, Quaker, pacifist, was just finishing up his years at Cambridge. Lauded as an heir to Sir Isaac Newton, Mr. Eddington had a seat at Cambridge, despite his being a pacifist, much frowned on by the many Lords and gentlemen who had donated a son to the 1st World War. Especially as the battle of Ypres raged, and 15,000 were lost to chlorine gas, Mr. Eddington's passivity rubbed raw the sensibilities of a nation against Germany in particular. Meanwhile, Einstein had been lured to Berlin, in hopes that his theories would provide war capable weapons. As it happened, Einstein was against the war, and did not wish that his theories be used as weapons. And so, given his 'relinquishment' of his German residency, as a 'Citizen of the World', his life was reigned in by the German powers, and he became unable to have a voice in his community, be it scientific or personal. And of course, during World War 11, he was excoriated as a Jew, and barely fled with his life. The US wanted his knowledge, and of course, eventually, the atomic bomb was invented, based on his theory of relativity. But that was many years after this moment in time. Arthur Eddington discovered a variation in the known elipse of Mercury, and with the help of a German family he had rescued from a violent English protest, sent a translated letter to Einstein explaining his new theory. Einstein was unable to answer him, due to the German soldiers denying his entrance to his only post box. However, Eddington and his scientific companion convinced Cambridge University to pay for a trip to Africa, in order to prove a new theory on the relationship of the stars to the sun, during a total eclipse. Einstein, of course, went on to incredible fame and notoriety. Eddington, however, did not pursue fame, and faded into obscurity. This is a wonderful film, and trust me - you needn't know science to understand what this adventure is all about. Enjoy!