Title—The Wonder of it All
Awards–Won Best Documentary at the Rhode Island International Film Festival
Summary–This film explores what it was like for the men who landed on the moon during the Apollo missions. It includes interviews with several of the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon from 1969-1972 and original NASA footage.
My Thoughts–I am fascinated by everything that has to do with space. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little, but then one of my teachers told me that I should pick a more realistic career (yeah, I had some pretty *awesome* teachers). The fact that only 12 men in history have ever walked on the moon totally boggles my mind. And the last man to set foot on the moon did it in 1972!!! I honestly thought we had gone back since then, but apparently I am not that bright.
This film is composed of interviews with 7 of those 12 men. They talk about how they first got involved with NASA (most of them can’t really describe it, they just feel like they got lucky) and the beginnings of the Apollo program. I will admit that this first part was a little slow. It started out with a bang when Eugene Cernan said that Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade was scary because “we didn’t know tiddly-winks about space.” Heehee. I love it when grownups use fun words. 🙂 It kind of got a wee bit boring after that, but it picked right up when they started talking about their time on the moon.
It was so fascinating to hear them talk about their time up there. These are men who have experienced something that no one else has, and you can tell by the way they talk about it that they know how special it is. They spend a lot of time talking about how tightly scheduled their time on the moon was. They were not allowed time to goof off or marvel at the view, because they had task after task that they had to perform. But each one was able to take a moment to reflect on the enormity of the situation.
There is some great footage of someone (I can’t remember who) hopping along the surface singing “I was strolling on the moon one day…” And Charlie Duke talked about how he started jumping up and down just for fun and ended up falling on his back, which could have been really dangerous.
One reason I am glad that I watched this documentary is that I had never even heard of any of these guys, except of course for Buzz Aldrin. The other astronauts interviewed accomplished just as many amazing things as Buzz and Neil, but no one knows who they are. I now feel better knowing that I am a little more informed than I used to be. (Now I can list off all the astronauts on Apollo 13 without batting an eyelash, but of course they were not included because they did not land on the moon.)
Final Verdict–If you are interested in space or NASA related things, this is something you should watch. If that’s not your cup of tea, you should probably skip this one.