Presents the eight-day journey from pre-launch procedures to touchdown
Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing. As bittersweet as it is that it’s been almost as long since the last of our six moon landings finished in 1972, there’s never been a better time to be a space fanatic. Elon Musk’s work at SpaceX is currently driving the space race as commercial space flight looms ever closer with the first commercial spaceflight set for 2021.
At the same time, President Trump and China’s space agency CNSA have discussed restarting manned missions to the moon and subsequently to Mars. As alien as the idea may seem, Moon and Mars colonization could happen in the not so distant future.
Contrary to the joyless idiots writing at the New York Times, the moon landing wasn’t some poor expression of white male privilege or anti-Soviet paranoia. It was humanity’s greatest scientific accomplishment. We should honor the bravery and accomplishment that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins achieved by landing on the moon for the first time.
I know a lot of conservative moviegoers were dissatisfied with last year’s First Man, a movie that to a degree recontextualized humanity’s greatest accomplishment as something not uniquely American. Conservatives interested in celebrating the anniversary who are frustrated with that may find something more fulfilling in the recent documentary Apollo 11.
This excellent documentary distributed by CNN films (proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day) is one of the few films released so far in 2019 that’s actually been worth seeking out in theaters.
I would go as far as to say you ought to watch it in a movie theater or somewhere with an above-average sound system if you can. The film’s audio captures the full power of the Saturn V launch at the beginning of the film and presents one of the most impressive ways to experience just how powerful one of humanity’s most powerful machines truly was. Even on DVD though, it’s still a wonderful experience.
The movie shares some superficial similarity to the 1989 documentary For All Mankind. That film, however, was more like a mosaic, intermixing footage and interviews with five astronauts from different missions to present a unique presentation of the general experience of any of the moon missions.
Apollo 11 is much more focused and linear. Though condensed down into a 93-minute film, the eight-day journey from pre-launch procedures to touchdown is presented.
While at times that means the film can be a bit slow, it never stops being visually impactful.
Part of what makes the film so special is that the filmmakers went out of their way to select footage that most people haven’t seen before. The filmmakers used original NASA footage that they then digitized and converted into high definition in a spectacular looking transfer.
That combined with the less frequently circulated footage presented gives the audience the sense that they’re experiencing the launch for the first time.
For those looking to further indulge their space race nostalgia, I’d also recommend checking out The Dailywire’s 4-part podcast Apollo 11: What We Saw hosted by Bill Whittle.DONATE
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