"I am French! I don't read foreigners." Says Emile in response to Alexander Humbolt's musings on Immanuel Kant. Now, who says German movies aren't funny? This one is and I loved it. Directed by Detlev Buck, the film follows two geniuses of the day, Alexander Humbolt and Carl Friedrich Gauss. Adapted from the best-selling novel by Daniel Kehlmann, we are presented with two independent plot strands. Well, maybe not so much plots as let's see how scientists fared in the 18th century - and that is what gives this film the drama: the how they lived.
Gauss had his adventures at home, in Germany. Humbolt had his in the Amazon region. Great actors, lush locations, naturalistic production design, decent cinematography and relayed with situation comedy. You feel the cold, the dirt, the grime, the dampness, the horror of life in the late 1700s.
Don't see it as an attempt to give historical facts but to immerse the viewer in a time we can travel to through the eyes of this movie.
"Measuring the World" is available on DVD and a streaming service near you. Or, read the book by Daniel Kehlmann.