It reportedly appeared in the work for over five years, even before the subject died in 2018. Hawking: Can you hear me?? This is the first time that many of Professor Stephen Hawking’s family, friends, doctors, associates and colleagues have talked about their relationship with perhaps one of the most famous men on the planet.
The result was a fascinating, unflinching, candid film that stripped away what seemed to be in the orbits of both modern-day geniuses and men whose bodies were irreversibly declining due to motor neuron disease.
The most sympathetic voice was the voice of Jane, her first wife who married Hawking. He had the knowledge that he would probably only live for three years.
In fact, the marriage lasted for thirty years, during which time, in Jane’s words, “we had to sacrifice everything for the worship of the goddess of physics.”
Their children, Robert, Lucy, and Tim, were concerned about the difficulty of developing a relationship with their father, whether because of the limits of his illness or because of his relentless pursuit of scientific quest. It was equally straightforward.
One of the tragic memories was that Hawking made a speech at a party celebrating his admission to the Royal Society. There, Hawking made no mention of his family.
A more dire element of Hawking’s story was there: how he left his family on Christmas Day 1989, a fast-growing relationship with Jane’s other man while still married. And allegations of abuse against Hawking’s second wife Elaine (who refused to participate).
As much as the movie about the incredible mind trapped in a failed body, this was also about a family trapped in unique and unpredictable dynamics. There was no doubt that these people loved him, but it was equally clear that there was nothing simple about that love.
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