Apollo 11 (U)

Apollo 11 (U)

Directed by Todd Douglas Miller
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 21st June 2019

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Watching this extraordinary documentary took me back to my childhood, recalling vivid memories of the first moon walk, which took place 50 years ago.

Given that there are no talking heads or voice over, nor anyone from that period recalling their memories of that time in the present day. It is as if the documentary was created a few weeks after the historic event.

‘Apollo 11’ is culled from archive 70 mm film footage, the majority of which has never been seen before by the public, and audio recordings amounting to over 11,000 hours.

The film footage includes the spectacular launch from Cape Canaveral, crowds watching it take place, and many shots of Mission Control at NASA., as well as the moon walk by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. You also hear the distinct tones of Walter Cronkite’s newscasts.

What struck me forcefully, and brought to mind the cliche ‘How quickly time passes’ is the images of rows of men at Mission Control – only one female is seen, 28-year-old engineer JoAnn Morgan – is that the vast majority of those involved will no longer be alive.

One reviewer described the film as part documentary, art, drama and dream. I could not agree more.

Another critic described it as ‘a rare moment of global unity.’ He obviously forgot about the USA’s savage conflict in Vietnam, which was taking place at the time of the event.

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