The Imitation Game is a film not only about Alan Turing’s work during the war but the way in which his achievements were besmirched by his conviction for being gay in 1952 which was responsible for the sequence of events that lead to his suicide in 1954. To say there were issues in the criminal justice system in the 1950s is a massive understatement (not as if it’s flawless in the present day - there are still issues that need sorting!) There was another massive miscarriage of justice in the 1950s that later received a film adaptation: the story of Derek Bentley. The film I’m talking about is the 1991 film Let Him Have It.
The film itself is underpinned with tragedy throughout, documenting Derek Bentley’s life from the night in 1941 where, as a young boy, he survived his street is bombed but without consequences. The chaos and instability of the night is a striking visual introduction to our story, a clear indication that the film-makers are pulling absolutely no punches. This is clear for example when we see Derek’s fits, his family life, the representation of post-War boys and the very limited knowledge and acceptance within 1950s society. There are many themes running through this rich and intricate film and every single one is done with brutal precision with a simple yet haunting music score accompanying it.
This is a film steeped in tragedy without being a cliche brigade or any kind of visual or audio overload. It is a wonderfully put together film. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend changing that as soon as you are able. Get a box of tissues at the ready if you cry at films because you may well need it.