Measuring the World (Die Vermessung der Welt)

Sunday, November 24
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1hr 59mins // directed by:Detlef Buck

Two brilliant 18th Century German scientists, each having measured the world in their own way, are the subjects of David Kehlmann’s bestseller The Measuring of the World that this film by Detlev Buck is based on. Fact and fiction are blended into a hilarious, if a little disrespectful, fictitious double-biography.

Mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauß (1777-1855), a child prodigy born into a poor family, conceived his major discoveries by the age of 17 – all without ever leaving his home state. Scientific explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769 -1859), born into a wealthy family, was more of a late bloomer; but once he found his calling, set out to travel the world over to examine “everything that didn’t have legs nor fear to get away from him”. The film recounts their many groundbreaking ways of measuring the world, evolving from their meeting in 1828 on the occasion of the first German Scientific Congress in Berlin organized by Humboldt.