The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.
Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.
Details the unconventional life of Dr. William Marston, the Harvard psychologist and inventor who helped invent the modern lie detector test and created Wonder Woman in 1941. Marston was in a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth, a psychologist and inventor in her own right, and Olive Byrne, a former student who became an academic. This relationship was key to the creation of Wonder Woman, as Elizabeth and Olive's feminist ideals were ingrained in the character from her creation. Marston died of skin cancer in 1947, but Elizabeth and Olive remained a couple and raised their and Marston's children together. The film is said to focus on how Marston dealt with the controversy surrounding Wonder Woman's creation.
The body betrays the heart. A trio of creative and brilliant thinkers builds on this truth to shape psychological theory, a lie detector, an icon of female power and their own destinies. The true story of academics and inventors Bill and Elizabeth Marston and their research assistant Olive Byrne, provides a fascinating glimpse into unconventional lifestyles and a deviant underworld. Olive, Bill and Elizabeth do not merely subscribe to feminist doctrine, they live it. However, the conventions of their time do not support them. So they struggle, as super heroes do, to find their way to happiness and peace.
Discovering the truth about these fascinating and real people, and the background to the molding of Wonder Woman, is cathartic and enthralling. The good concepts advanced through the Wonder Woman character, such as the importance of acknowledging the truth and the belief that ideas are more powerful than force, are still under pressure today, perhaps more than ever. It is hard to believe that we have not moved beyond jealousy and manipulation as motivating beliefs, but Professor Marston and the Wonder Women offer clues as to why this is so. Some of the imagery of the film, such as when Olive is fitted with a Wonder Woman type crown, is so good that it gave me the shivers. Other scenes, especially towards the end of the film, fell flat. Overall though, a pleasing, insightful and thrilling story. The film is based on Jill Lepore's Secret History of Wonder Woman. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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