We live in a time and date when protesting the National Anthem is en vogue for several reasons, none notwithstanding, for areas of social injustice seemingly permitted in the very country to which we bestow our praise during the illustrious hymn.
So, who would have ever believed that a movie detailing a noteworthy giant leap for mankind would have tripped over a moon rock, crater, or some such before the film ever reached a single theater?
Such is life for the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, starring Ryan Gosling.
Nothing wrong there. All red, white, and blue goose bumps, right? According to the second stepper on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, there’s something very anti-nationalistic in the movie. And he’d like the world to know about it.
This is the tweet shot ’round the moon…
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) September 3, 2018
That is an old NASA image of Buzz Aldrin, 88, saluting at the U.S. flag on the moon in 1969. And, while iconic and internationally known, will not be in the film.
Gosling was asked at the Venice Film Festival whether omitting the scene was deliberate and the actor attempted to sidestep the question by responding that the moon landing “transcended countries and borders.”
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” he told reporters. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”
So, because this small step for man was big enough to leap a border, a single country flag shouldn’t be featured? I mean, we see an American aeronautic team hurled into space, so why not fly Old Glory?!
Maybe because Neil’s own sons don’t seem to have an issue with it.
This is a film that focuses on what you don’t know about Neil Armstrong. It’s a film that focuses on things you didn’t see or may not remember about Neil’s journey to the moon. The filmmakers spent years doing extensive research to get at the man behind the myth, to get at the story behind the story.
It’s a very personal movie about our dad’s journey, seen through his eyes. This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement for all mankind, as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible.
In short, this is an American tale of achievement that inspired the world. And no picture can remove that fact. There will be ample areas of nationalism in the movie for all of us to enjoy.
First Man will hit theaters nationally on October 12.