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Einstein's Wife
Einstein's Wife
Director: John Target
Genres: Documentary
UR     2003     1hr 0min


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Movie Details

Director: John Target
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography, History
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 10/28/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

How do famous men's wives fare?
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 05/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the many great contributions of feminism is that people now ask, "What about the lives of the women behind the great men?" This documentary was a good mix of history and science. It adds to the emerging and needed work about powerful people in heterosexual couples. This made me wonder: What about the Curies? the Shelleys? George Sand and Marc Chopin, heck, even the Clintons?

This documentary starts by asking, "Did Einstein's first wife contribute to his famous discoveries in physics?" It points to evidence, but it doesn't not speculate or make conclusions. This may frustrate some viewers.

Women's studies majors will love this. Einstein's wife was denied her degree basically because academic higher-ups assumed that she'd be better off as a housewife and that Einstein would be the breadwinner anyway. Was it birth order or gender that played into their sons being kept but their daughter being adopted away? Einstein seemed to love his wife when they were equal students, but he could care less once she became the common hausfrau.

I love Albert Einstein; he's one of my heroes. His intellect and commitment to civil rights will always humble me. However, this documentary corroborates suggestions that he was a notorious womanizer. Further, he may have been a sexist, despite his otherwise progressive leanings. What a shame!"
Misinformation all the way
A. H. Esterson | London | 12/20/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"A reviewer writes that the film "doesn't speculate or make conclusions." This is not the film I saw. I am able to cite some 25 erroneous or unsubstantiated claims in the film. One of them is evident in the statement of the same reviewer:

"Einstein's wife was denied her degree basically because academic higher-ups assumed that she'd be better off as a housewife and that Einstein would be the breadwinner anyway."

This is an absurd, evidence-free speculation by a mistress of speculation, Senta Troemel-Ploetz. Not only does she not produce one iota of evidence for the assertion, it imputes to the Zurich Polytechnic Conference of Examiners the gift of foresight, since Einstein and Maric were not even living together at the time, and did not do so until they were married nearly three years later.

Characteristic of the film are the closing words "spoken" by Einstein:
"Without her I would never have started my work, and certainly not finished it."

This ending of a little speech supposedly given to Maric's father in 1904, according to earlier in the film, was made before he'd written even the very first of his great papers of 1905 - yet he is supposedly thanking Maric for her help in *finishing* his work! That is characteristic of the abysmal level of scholarship in this documentary"
Speak up for once
malt whiskman | US | 06/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This is less of a review and more a one note filter of this pseudodocudrama.

After a few tens of minutes on PBS, the voicing of Mileva in a constant whispering was just too aggravating. I guess somebody decided that to create the subtext of Mileva standing in the shadow of Einstein's shoulder, whispering the secrets of the universe in his ear, she had to be whispering at all times. If overdone things like Ken Burns' violins get on your nerves, maybe this will too."