Ignorance has always given birth to monsters. At the same time, history taught us that one of the most aberrant forms of ignorance has been sustained by the patriarchal view of the world. In this connection, ‘Ada‘ is a short film that can be seen both as a biopic of a woman of extraordinary intelligence, as well as a slap in the face of a history blinded by male vanity. However, Steven Kammerer is not a director who simply approaches the pattern of the woman living in a “man’s world”, in a more or less predictable way or through a more or less accurate narrative thread. On the contrary, his project enjoys a strong historical fidelity, following a part of the tragic fate of Ada Byron Lovelace (the woman who designed the first computer and whose notes would inspire Alan Turing), without resorting to stylistic principles similar to a romantic hero profile. The objectivity and naturalness that transpire from this short biopic is at the opposite pole of the general attempts to “epicize” for the sake of adrenaline.


And yet, this aspect contributes to enhancing the emotional impact, since the director doesn’t create a short film about “geniuses” and “villains”, but about people, about a mentality, about a precise era. This narrative balance is manifested, on the one hand, by the director’s choice not to exaggerate the facts of a true story in order to achieve the demands of a “catchy” film, and, on the other hand, by the fact that he doesn’t assume the role of a caustic defender of the protagonist, preferring to observe her from a distance. Therefore, even if Ada is not captured during her feverish work, even if the viewer doesn’t necessarily witness the long and painful process of her physical and mental consumption, the suggestive force of the short film remains unaltered, since the director’s aim is not to create a character, but to rehabilitate the image of a person, of a beautiful mind, destroyed by the obscurantism of absurd conceptions.


The delightful naturalness of this short film is manifested by a palpable atmosphere, orchestrated by Steven Kammerer with the certainty of a mature director and with the chromatic sensitivity of a 19th century enthusiast. Thus, the significant details related not only to the social etiquette of the time, but also to the scenery, converge in a coherent and convincing Victorian fictional universe. ‘Ada’ is the perfect result between a balanced narrative, backed by a respect for historical truth, and a more than promising directorial vision.


For the harmonious cohesion of the elements that compose this intelligent foray into the wonders and whims of a fascinating century, for the humanism with which it rehabilitates the destiny of a woman defeated by obscurantism, ‘Ada’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the May 2020 edition of TMFF