Wittgenstein offers zany snapshots of the 20th century Austrian who made philosophy more self-conscious. Writer and director Derek Jarman uses theatrical vignettes and creative tricks (the appearance of a Martian dwarf) to shed light on Wittgenstein's aristocratic manner, his Jewish background, and his homosexuality. Characters playing Bertrand Russell and John Maynard Keynes critique his ideas on language, the working-class, and mysticism.