Sunday, 7 March 2010

"In the shadow of the Moon" ~ an extraordinary documentary

This 2007 documentary is one of the best I've seen. It chronicles the American venture of getting astronauts on the Moon and is all the more remarkable in that it contains no reconstructed footage: all of it was shot during the space missions just as you see it. The footage is awe-inspiring and the sound track and editing match this quality.

The contemporary commentary is provided by the astronauts themselves, many years older now and certainly their faces have aged, but all showed a mental alertness and emotional candour that amazed me. For me this exemplifies the maturity one would look for in those of advanced age which I haven't often seen. In conversational language they describe their backgrounds as aeroplane test pilots, their preparation for the space missions, and the thoughts and emotions each experienced during them.

What made this documentary truly memorable for me was what the astronauts said about how the space flights affected their world views: for each it was a transformational experience, both in how much more they appreciated 'the good Earth' and how they felt about universal and spiritual truths. For each this took a different form. These were unlooked for and what the astronauts say about them are no trite recitations. In a world that struggles for any sense of purpose, this kind of testimony is important.

What was sad, as well as sobering, was the observation that the magical blues, whites and subtle colours of Earth as seen from outer space are no longer clean, but increasing discoloured by pollution - shame on us all. Animals and the natural world haven't created this, people have, and politicians and business people continue to dispute 'climate change' as a reason for putting on the brakes. Climate change be blowed - isn't the mess we've made so far enough reason, or do we meekly accept the fate of an existence in a rubbish tip rather than fighting for the survival of our living breathing paradise?

Here is the film trailer:

Further details of the film can be found on this IMDB webpage
And in case you can't easily find the link there to other people's reviews here they are.

Later Note:

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