It has been 50 years. I remember watching it. Astonishing footage capturing one of humanities greatest accomplishments. A true spectacle for its historic significance alone – though you have to feel sorry for Michael Collins who had to orbit the moon by himself, with no communications to Houston, while Buzz and Neal were kicking it on the moon.
Some of the found film is not as crisp as contemporary digital imagery, but it has an immediacy that today’s CGI-dependent tales of cosmic fantasy never achieve.
Apollo 11 isn’t a film about the facts and stats of the mission to reach the moon. Instead, it’s about how it feels to be in space and on the ground as history is made. Stunning, stirring stuff.
Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embark on a historic trip to the moon.
At a time when the average person compulsively records, shares, and archives images and video of the mundane trivialities they experience in their day-to-day lives, it can be hard — emotionally, if not intellectually — to accept that most of our species’ defining moments have been lost like tears in the rain. The world has access to more footage of an adorable panda being startled by a sneeze than it does of the entire Roman Empire. This history of the Moon landing is right behind us, still close enough to reach back and touch, and yet — without having seen it for ourselves with the clarity and immediacy that’s baked into even the most frivolous Instagram Story — it feels just a bit unreal. Not fictitious, but rather too dryly factual; we know what happened, but a growing number of generations can’t access the true awe of the launch, or appreciate how that one giant leap for all mankind made the dreams of an entire planet seem possible.
It’s 90 minutes just showing the mission, from beginning to end, with no talking heads to interrupt the reality of it.
USA 2019, 93 min, rated G
Directed by Todd Douglas Miller