A Brief History of Time (1992)

Genres - Science & Technology  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Physical Sciences  |   Release Date - Aug 21, 1992 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Those who shy away from A Brief History of Time because they were daunted by the best sellingStephen Hawking book from which this documentary is more or less drawn should take heart: Time as a film is far more easily understood and enjoyed than the book. Indeed, filmmaker Errol Morris has done a superb job of taking a difficult scientific subject and making it accessible, without giving the feeling that it has been unnecessarily "dumbed down." Of course, part of the reason for this success is that Morris is interested as much in Hawking the man as he is in the book and the theories expounded therein. Morris lets us see the scientist as all-too-human, a person we can know and relate to, and one that may have overcome extreme odds but is still not without his own faults and peculiarities. Naturally, as in all such films, the director has to be selective about what is included and what is left out, and fans of the book may feel that too much has been omitted; but this very omission helps to frame one of the film's key points, which is that science is often frustrated by our inability to find all the pieces. It teaches us that in many ways, the search is more important than the result, and that's a fine lesson for any film to get across.