Tuesday, 6 October 2015


During the second world war, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg met for some meeting, and people aren't sure what it was about. This is an answer.

Bohr and his wife host a meeting with Heisenberg, and we get to see them interacting... although we don't see the meeting itself. But then they are back together many years later (which didn't actually happen) and they discuss the meeting, and the ramifications.

This is based on the play by Michael Frayn, who posited that the meeting was concerning the ethical role of physicists providing support of any kind to military power. I think it would have worked better as a play presentation, because it's basically a three hander in which there's a lot of people standing around talking. It is adapted here to be changing locations about every minute to provide something visually interesting, but instead becomes distracting.

Of note is that this features one of the most English of actors (as least, going by the role he would play) playing a patriotic German, namely Heisenberg as played by Daniel Craig. I think that Stephen Rea gave a better performance as Bohr.

It's an interesting ethical discussion that I'm not sure works on screen.


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