(Director/writer: Lzubo Vujovic; Runtime: 50; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Dr. Ljubo Vujovic; New Science Ideas; 2003-in English)

“A solid educational study on a genius who is virtually unknown to the general public.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a Serb born in Croatia, who died at age 86, in the NYC hotel he lived in for a number of years. The public service film offers a solid educational study on a genius who is virtually unknown to the general public but should be recognized and applauded as one of the greatest scientists in the world. The genius physicist was an obscure visionary who emigrated in 1884 to America from the former Yugoslavia and worked briefly for Thomas Edison, until they became rivals over an electric current debate–with Edison going with the losing side of ‘direct-current’ and Tesla the more efficient ‘alternating-current.’ In 1891, working in his own lab in NYC, Tesla invented the Tesla Coil. It was an alternating-current electrical system of generators, motors and transformers—both of which are still used widely today.

In the science community, Tesla was known as the father of our modern technological age. He was someone who laid the foundation for modern communications and energy research, whose vast range of contributions to science and technology include some of the following: the invention of radio, television, radio-astronomy, fluorescent light, the laser beam, Tesla turbines, remote control, robotics, radar, medical x-ray and the wireless transmission of electricity.

The Encyclopedia Britannica lists Tesla, a bachelor, as one of the ten most fascinating people in history. This no-nonsense film explains why, as it offers a laundry list of his many accomplishments that include 700 patents, a working partnership with George Westinghouse and it goes into detail about some of his inventions as explained by Prof. A. Marincic–associated with the museum in Belgrade that honors their countryman with a museum named after him. The informative film is a good way to become acquainted with this most unusual and interesting man for both those unaware of his existence and those who want more knowledge on his activities. It also touches briefly on Tesla’s experiment with wireless energy, as under the sponsorship of J. P. Morgan he built the Wardenclyffe Tower that worked but the project ended unfinished when the capitalist wouldn’t go along with the humanitarian scientist’s plan to give away energy for free. Even if the no-frills film is not exciting and only barely penetrates its subject’s vast accomplishments, nevertheless it’s an excellent testament to Tesla’s work and place in history.

The film was created by the Tesla Memorial Society and the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade.