There is a new movie, set to be released in October 2018. It is called “First Man” – a movie about the 1969 Moon landing by American astronauts – the first men in recorded history to land on the Moon. What a tremendous American accomplishment that was!
Based on what I read about the movie, it follows the life of Neil Armstrong from 1961, leading up to the voyage to the Moon in 1969. I have not watched the movie, because it is not out in theatres yet, but I have been reading news reports on the movie and the controversies surrounding it.
It has been reported that the movie did not show the planting of the American flag on the Moon.[i] It is a serious omission, because the entire voyage was an American project, and so were the astronauts. In the history of the world as we know it, Americans are the first to land on the Moon, and plant a flag on its surface.[ii] And this is a fact that cannot and should not be omitted, whenever we talk about the Moon landing.
And yet, the director Damien Chazelle “chose” not to show the characters of Neil Armstrong and buzz Aldrin planting the American flag on the Moon.[iii] Ryan Gosling – no doubt he is a great actor and he played the role of Neil Armstrong in the movie – said that the reason the flag-planting was not shown is because the achievement of humans walking on the Moon “transcended countries and borders.”[iv]
Absolutely, the achievement of humans walking on the Moon did transcend countries and borders, and it is a victory for mankind. But how was this victory made possible? Which country made the Apollo 11 possible? Which country are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins from? The answer is – United States of America. And that is why any movie being made on Apollo 11 must show the scene of the American flag being planted on the Moon. It is of utmost importance for the viewers, especially the younger generation, to see and know, that out of all the countries in the world, it is the United States of America that succeeded to put men on the surface of the Moon before anyone else.
Think about all the people who risk their lives to climb Mount Everest. And upon reaching the summit, it is a tradition to plant their country’s flag on top, as a symbol of success and pride. And here we are talking about American men going to the Moon, and the director “chose” not to show the planting of the American flag on the Moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
According to NASA, the United States has been the first nation to reach every planet from Mercury to Neptune with a space probe. And more recently, the New Horizons mission is allowing the United States of America to complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system.[v] There are great things happening in space exploration, with the United States as the global leader. Under the Trump administration, space exploration has become a big priority, and we are now looking at the possibility of Americans landing on Mars, hopefully in the not so distant future.
It is unfortunate that the crew of “First Man” chose to exclude the depiction of such an important fact – planting of the American flag on the Moon – from a movie that is based on true events of the Apollo 11 mission. Based on what I am reading in the news: such selective omission is very disturbing, and it does not set the right example for future movies to be made on very important subjects of historical significance.