A Beautiful Equation
Directed and edited by Robin Truesdale
Laughter, spontaneity, and good stories – all are part of this documentary journey with eight grandmothers as they prepare to perform a play about two historic physicists – Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. As the women spin the tales about the scientists with vivid expression, they also share their diverse backgrounds and reveal the beauty and vitality of elder women.
A Beautiful Equation follows eight elder women as they rehearse for an unlikely stage presentation about two great 20th century physicists – Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. The women are directed by 80 year-old Len Barron who delightfully leads them through the rehearsal process. Barron, who closely resembles Einstein, has performed his one-man show about the scientists for more than two decades and decides it would be quite a twist to have eight grandmothers present his material instead. Indeed, the women spin the tales of Einstein and Bohr with grace and depth, illuminating the magic of fairy tales and belief in the impossible that so influenced the two physicists. While the stories about the scientists are captivating, it’s the grandmothers who steal the show as beloved characters. A Latina grandmother struggles with her spoken English, a black grandma reflects on her struggle for civil rights, another grandmother recalls her teen years during WWII. As they progress from rehearsals to the stage, the women reveal their own strengths as inspirational role models and remind us that one doesn’t have to be a genius to be fair, or playful, or to do things beautifully.