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In the Shadow of the Moon

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Dave Hackman

Dave Hackman

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Posted April 12 2007 - 02:42 PM

Plenty gaze at it, some plan their activities around it and others howl at it but only 12 humans have ever landed and walked on it. The Apollo space program during the 60’s was given the task by President Kennedy of putting a man on the moon and having him return safely to earth by the end of the decade. In July of 1969 Apollo 11 fulfilled this goal when Commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the surface of the moon. NASA returned to the moon five more times with the last landing occurring in 1972 by Apollo 17. It’s hard to believe that in 2007 this would be the extent of our manned landings on any planetary surface in our solar system. I certainly envisioned a more ambitious space program then what has occurred. In fact you would have to be about 40 years old to have seen and remember any of the Apollo landings live via television. It’s amazing how motivated we can get when we are in a competitive challenge with another nation as we were with the Russians. Thankfully NASA is planning on returning to the moon in 2018 and this time actually setting up a base, which will be needed for our eventual mission to Mars. This documentary is told through the eyes of the surviving astronauts who where aboard those six successful Apollo moon landing missions. They narrate and give their impressions on what they felt and experienced along the way. Neil Armstrong is not one for media events and is absent from the interviews but is there in spirit through the high praise of his crewmates who recant stories about him. Most of the time is spent with the crew of Apollo 11 and rightfully so since they were the first to actually land on the moon. You get all the details leading up to the launch, the launch itself, the landing and their safe journey back. Subsequent missions receive much less time in the details and focus mainly on mission highlights and personal insights from the astronauts who were there. Visually it doesn’t get more impressive then viewing the earth from outer space. Its colorful vibrant glow stands out amongst the blackness of space and definitely awakens you to a wider perspective. One of the astronauts nails this message down when he talks about an epiphany he had while viewing the earth from a distance. This film amazingly recreates what he saw and you too with the help of his narration will experience this for yourself. This documentary easily captures the imagination of both young and old and is something an entire family can watch together. A

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Bob Turnbull

Bob Turnbull

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Posted April 13 2007 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for the review Dave. I'm going to see this on Thursday as the opening film for this year's Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto. I can't wait to see some of those images on the big screen.

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