On 16th July 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were launched into space on what is undoubtedly the most famous mission in the history of space exploration. Their destination, the moon, where Armstrong and Aldrin would become the first humans to set foot on another world.
Thanks to the discovery of previously unseen footage, director Todd Douglas Miller and his team have been able to bring this incredible feat of human achievement back to life. Charting events from the hours prior to launch, through their flight to the moon, the landing, the return to Earth and the aftermath, Miller is able to provide whole new perspectives on the mission. Not just from the point of view of the astronauts, but from all those who worked to get them to the moon, and the millions of people who watched from around the world. In many ways it's like you're actually witnessing these events as they take place, rather than watching a documentary. And the lack of a narrator describing events - instead we are kept up to date by recordings of radio transmissions and news broadcasts from the time - only makes it all feel more real.
The only thing more mind-boggling than what you'll see in this fascinating documentary, is the fact that all of this footage was locked away in a vault and forgotten about for almost fifty years! A lot of work has been done to increase the quality of the footage, and to sync the audio to it, making the whole thing that much more immersive. Combine that with the use of multiple camera angles and perspectives, and you are able to get an idea of just how difficult a task, travelling to the moon can be. "Apollo 11" has even been edited to convey the level of tension that goes with such an endeavour. You may have some idea of how the mission went, you may be well versed in those proceedings, but there are still times when you will be on the edge of your seat. It is a shame then that certain liberties have been taken with the timeline. Events that did take place - like Michael Collins' wisecrack in regard to his biomed sensors - are shown to occur at different times to when they actually did. It's a strange choice given all the hard work that went into achieving accuracy. One that thankfully doesn't have a detrimental effect on your viewing experience.
A fantastic documentary that conveys all the spectacle - not to mention hard work - of such a historic event. One that is now preserved for future generations to enjoy. The quality of the footage is spectacular, and although the timeline has been skewed a little here and there, "Apollo 11" allows audiences to experience one of man's greatest achievements as if they were a part of it.
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