In the Shadow of the Moon
“In the Shadow of the Moon” is an intimate epic, which vividly communicates the daring and the danger, the pride and the passion, of this extraordinary era in American history. Between 1968 and 1972, the world watched in awe each time an American spacecraft voyaged to the Moon. Only 12 American men walked upon its surface and they remain the only human beings to have stood on another world. Now for the first, and very possibly the last time, “In the Shadow of the Moon” combines archival material from the original NASA film footage, much of it never before seen, with interviews with the surviving astronauts, including Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and 13); Dave Scott (Apollo 9 and 15); John Young (Apollo 10 and 16); Gene Cernan (Apollo 10 and 17); Mike Collins (Apollo 11); Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11); Alan Bean (Apollo 12); Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14); Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17). The astronauts emerge as eloquent, witty, emotional and very human.
With all due respect, this documentary features comments “right from the horse’s mouth,” as it includes comments from former Apollo astronauts including Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Jim Lovell and Gene Cernan. It is fascinating to listen to these men who actually flew to the moon recall their experiences and the feelings they had during those momentous occasions.
The film is filled with images such as President Kennedy’s initiative and comments during the early 1960s that men should attempt to go to the moon. As one astronaut put it, “I liked it because it was a simple speech. He wanted us to go to the moon and by the end of the decade.” Although Kennedy would not live to see the goal accomplished, it happened in July 1969. Other images include the Civil Rights movement along with the assassinations of JFK, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It is still a “wow” moment to see footage of Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon, with the now-famous quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The film is filled with comments from the people who lived this adventure, great footage of the moon, and clips of the times in which all of these events transpired. Charlie Duke became a Christian as did at least one other astronaut, because the order of the universe they viewed from the mothership and lunar module convinced them of the reality of the creator. This documentary is filled with interesting trivia, such as the fact that each member of Apollo 11, the first group to go to the moon, were all born in the same year, 1930.
This film includes some mild language, but it is an entertaining and wonderful story of who we were when man landed on the moon. We at Dove award our seal to this movie as a family-friendly slice of history.