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In The Shadow of the Moon

Remember when the whole world looked up?
Presented by Ron Howard

The excitement, majesty and extraordinary human accomplishment of the American lunar program of the ’60s and early ’70s is rousingly captured in IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON. Deftly mixing a treasure trove of archival footage with engaging commentaries of surviving astronauts from all nine Apollo moonshots, this British production will bring it all back for those with first-hand memories of the time, while providing a stimulating primer for younger generations. The film possesses a visual and audio vibrancy as producers went back to the original NASA film cans, found some material never used before and remastered everything, meaning that the mostly colour footage looks as good as new. Director David Sington skips over technological aspects confronting scientists working on a ferociously competitive deadline, just as he ignores budgetary issues, choosing instead to exclusively spotlight the men who actually travelled the 240,000 miles each way in the cramped three-man Apollo capsules. They are a lively, thoughtful, impressive bunch, by and large; some are more macho, others humorous or self-deprecating. But to a man, they possess something that sets them apart – a humbled, philosophical side that, whether they state it or not, came from journeying to another world and seeing our own from afar. One can sense that they are changed men for having done what they did – 24 men have travelled to the moon, and only 12 have ever walked on the surface – and this sense of a special perspective comes through clearly. Aside from the great footage of the flights and moonwalks themselves, the film makes a point of showing the elated international reactions to this ‘one giant step for mankind’. Documentary material from all around the non-communist world shows people thrilled about the accomplishment, and the film’s implicit comment is that, despite concurrent events in Vietnam, this was when global regard for the United States was at its highest level. The overwhelming perspective of the moon voyagers is that, from above, Earth looks like a serene but fragile bastion of life hanging in space, a unique oasis in what otherwise appears to be a void. Any film that can remind viewers of this unique viewpoint, witnessed firsthand by so few, would always seem welcome. - Todd McCarthy, Variety
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Directed by: 
David Sington
Running Time: 
with Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Eugene Cernan, Michael Collins and more...
Screenplay by: 

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