Oppenheimer: what the film didn’t tell

Oppenheimer: what the film didn't tell

Scientist in Los Alamos/Web

At the pinnacle of the film industry, the film “Oppenheimer” starred the scientist J.J. has captured the attention of a global audience with its captivating story about the life of Robert Oppenheimer and his role in creating the atomic bomb. However, what is it that Nolan didn’t count on.

Oppenheimer studied philosophy, literature and languages ​​(he managed to learn Italian in a month). This versatile man of many interests also read Plato’s dialogues in Greek and was an avid reader of the ancient Hindu poem Bhagavad Gita.

Julius Robert Oppenheimer was a physicist as well as a polyglot. Born in New York, his mother tongue was English, but he was also fluent in German, perhaps inherited from his father, a textile importer who had emigrated from Germany in 1888. Years later, the scientist would travel to the German country where he studied. Supervised by Max Born (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954). He spoke French and Italian and we know that he studied at least Greek and Sanskrit.

Jean Tatlock and J.J. Actors Florence Pugh and Cillian Murphy in place of Robert Oppenheimer/Webb

The director has been criticized on several occasions for not giving importance to female characters and always identifying them as wives or maternal figures who stifle the development of the protagonist. Also in this case, the portrayal of the women in Oppenheimer’s life has been a subject of controversy. Jean Tatlock and Catherine “Kitty” Puening, two important figures in the scientist’s life, are played by Florence Pugh and Emily Blunt, respectively. Although these women played influential roles in Oppenheimer’s life, the film often focuses on aspects that some critics see as gender stereotyping and simplification.

The character of Jean Tatlock, a brilliant psychoanalyst and communist activist, is reduced to moments of romance and emotional distress in the film. Although she and Oppenheimer shared a passionate and intellectual relationship, on-screen portrayals have focused on their romantic relationship and their connection to the “femme fatale”.

In 1936, at the age of 22, she met Oppenheimer, and their romance lasted three years. Despite several separations caused by his depression, their relationship was intense. Since she was a member of the Communist Party, she paved the way for him in politics. She rejected all the marriage proposals made by the physicist. Both ended the relationship but continued to see each other.

He read Plato’s dialogues in Greek and was an enthusiast of the ancient Hindu poem Bhagavad Gita.

Tatlock was found dead by his father in 1944 and it was listed as a suicide; However, there is speculation of an assassination at the hands of America’s anti-communist intelligence agency. Also found a note:

Physicist with his daughter, Catherine/Webb

“I hate everything… To the people who loved me and helped me, To all the love and courage. I wanted to live and give and somehow became paralyzed. I tried hard to understand and could not understand… I feel that it must have been a responsibility of my whole life, at least I could take off the burden of a paralyzed soul from the world of struggle.”

Kitty Puening is introduced primarily as Oppenheimer’s wife and emotional support. Despite being a biologist and the mother of his children, her professional role is omitted in the film and the focus is on her struggle with alcoholism and postpartum depression. This limited representation reduces the complexity and focus on being a “supporting character” in the life of a physicist.

Physicist studied philosophy, literature and languages ​​and learned Italian in a month

Oppenheimer was her fourth husband, having annulled his marriage to a young Parisian, widowing Dalet—who died fighting with Communist forces—and leaving a doctor after him at the altar.

Together they had two children: Peter Oppenheimer and Catherine Oppenheimer. The second daughter, nicknamed Tonya, had a distant relationship with her parents, who left her in the hands of a friend – Pat Sher. Being proficient in languages ​​like his father, he worked in the United Nations. However, he struggled with his parents’ doubts and depression throughout his life. He finally committed suicide by hanging himself in the family home in 1977.

Emily Blunt dressed as Kitty Oppenheimer / Webb

Ruth Tolman and Oppenheimer had been close friends for many years. Although rumors of their relationship cropped up, it was never proven that they had an affair. She was the wife of physicist and mathematician Richard Tolman; She was a psychologist and an influential figure among her friends and colleagues.

In contrast, the absence of names and lack of development of other female characters who played important roles in the Manhattan Project, such as Lily Hornig, Charlotte Serber, and Leona Woods Marshall, reflect the continued invisibility of women in historical fiction. The omission is even more apparent in stories based on actual events, where inclusivity and historical accuracy should be a priority.

These women played pioneering roles in scientific fields and challenged gender barriers at a time when women in science were largely underrepresented. He contributed his research, knowledge and skills to the development of the atomic bomb and the Manhattan Project in general.

There were stories of women who were with Oppenheimer that were removed from the film/web


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