Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
Experience the first moon landing as it happened 50 years ago, with Todd Douglas Miller’s awe-inspiring and utterly epic documentary that takes us from the launch pad all the way to the lunar surface.
“Assembled from a newly discovered archive of 65 mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Miller’s film opens with a shot of an enormous, hangar-sized crawler hauling the towering Saturn V rocket to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. And the film looks so crisp and pristine, it feels like it was shot yesterday instead of a half-century ago…
Apollo 11, the mission that sent Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon (with Michael Collins… orbiting like a getaway driver), was a miracle of human endeavor and ingenuity from its fiery, booster-igniting takeoff to its ultimate splashdown. And the film chronicles each stage of the weeklong mission like a tick-tock procedural where everything could go wrong – but somehow didn’t. Miller’s visual collage charitably spreads the credit around beyond just the three men in space, too. The men and women back on terra firma are heroes as well as they crunch numbers and sweat over slide rules.” — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
“The most perfect movie that will ever be made about its subject, Apollo 11 takes the purest documentary idea imaginable – telling the story of the first journey to the moon and back using only the footage captured in the moment – and rides it all the way home… Apollo 11 won’t be surpassed, but it will serve to inspire – that’s almost guaranteed.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out