Codebreaker

Directed by Clare Beavan, Nic Stacey
2011
United Kingdom
82 mins

A complicated and eccentric genius. A man ahead of his time. The father of computer science. British mathematician Alan Turing was inarguably one of the most influential gay figures of all time, and before he came to life in The Imitation Game, Clare Beavan and Nic Stacey showcased his life as a hybrid drama-documentary.

Turing’s 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers” forms the cornerstone of the modern digital age, creating the theoretical structure for everything computers do today. In World War II, he broke the German Enigma code and helped the Allies defeat the Nazis, and his theories on mathematical biology and artificial intelligence were decades ahead of his time. He was also a self-identified gay man from early on, and Turing’s sexuality was eventually discovered, leading to charges of gross indecency, invasive organotherapy, and a subsequent sequence of events that led to his tragic death in 1954.

Featuring interviews with those who knew him, as well as with contemporary experts from the world of technology and high science including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Codebreaker brings Turing’s exciting impact up to the present day, explaining why, in many ways, modern technology has only just begun to explore the potential of Turing's ideas.

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