In the Shadow of the Moon (U)
Friday 02 November 2007
David Sington's documentary details the experience of that small band of Apollo astronauts who made it to the moon. It is respectful, enthusiastic and occasionally rather touching as the men, now in their seventies, recall how it felt up there. Yet the really important question never gets asked: what was it all for?
Judging from the US government's attitude at the time it marked, first of all, a propaganda victory over the Soviets, and secondly, a gigantic PR campaign to offset the social and political bad news – Vietnam, assassinations, riots – of the late 1960s. Sorry to be a killjoy, but I'm with Gil Scott-Heron on this one: "I can't pay no doctor's bills – but whitey's on the Moon." If the miracle of Earth isn't enough for us, then surely its madness ought to be.
The genial and thoughtful Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 command module pilot who didn't step on the Moon, seems to recognise this when he describes the first landing: "wonderful, but ephemeral".
Arts & Ents blogs
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Watch: The student election Macklemore parody that isn't completely awful - and all the others that are
- 3 Son attacks Apple after it refuses to unlock his late mother’s iPad
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results