Director: Todd Douglas Miller
Cast: Buzz Aldrin, Janet Armstrong, Neil Armstrong
93 mins. Rated G.
Especially after seeing First Man, I thought I understood the Apollo 11 mission perfectly. That was, until I saw Apollo 11.
Apollo 11 is a documentary comprised of tons of footage of the famous manned mission to the moon. A lot of this footage has never been publically available until now. Director Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13, Scaring the Fish) has meticulously assembled, with an incredible team, a narrative from this footage, detailing the entire mission from moments before liftoff to the first step on the moon and then the return.
I don’t need to overly-detail what this doc is about because I think you’ll get it. What’s so fascinating about it is how engaging the film is. Everyone knows this story, right? I do, and yet, in a packed theater with tons of other people, many of which I would assume were actually alive during this time, and we were all enthralled with the story. Miller does something fascinating with his storytelling that made me forget that I knew exactly what was going to happen. I was looking at the screen, searching for details to further unearth, and I couldn’t look away.
This is a documentary worth looking at behind the scenes as well. I did a little research and discovered some of the making of material, and it’s incredible to see the rules adhered to by the creative team in trying to make every specific detail true and correct to factual events. The score for the film was completed only with instruments available in 1969 and all the footage is accurate except where expressly noted. Every attempt was made to make this film accessible as though we were watching it in 1969 itself, and that’s an incredible feat all it’s own.
Apollo 11 is a spectacular behind-the-scenes doc about one of the most incredible human acts in history. It gives its audience the ability to re-experience the moon landing all over again, and what an experience it is. If you are still capable of seeing this one at an IMAX theater, do so. Now.
-Kyle A. Goethe