At the start of the film Hawking, Stephen Hawking, through his now-well-known computerized voice, says, “This film is a personal journey through my life, told in my own life. Come with me and I will tell you the story of how I became who I am.”
PBS broadcast the film on TV last night and it’s now online, and it is extraordinary: the behind-the-scenes access and his story. While there is b-roll footage and some weak reenactments, Stephen Finnigan’s film mostly uses photographs, interviews, and Hawking himself to recount the events of his life.
It’s both uplifting and haunting, as Hawking says things such as, “Sometimes I wonder if I am as famous for my wheelchair and my disabilities as I am for my discoveries.” The 71-year-old is, he says, “totally reliant” on others, just as he was as an infant. But: “I have developed a desire to make the most of each and every minute.”