Hollywood is taking on one of the most iconic events in American history by producing a movie about the 1969 moon landing.
The event forever stamped astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into history as the first ever moon landers. It also debuted the “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” line.
Armstong’s historic trip to the moon also included his placing of the American flag on the moon’s rocky surface – a marvel in America’s global and extraterrestrial leadership.
The American flag, however, is being omitted from Hollywood’s take on the event in “First Man.”
The film features Oscar-winning Canadian actor Ryan Gosling portraying Neil Armstong. Gosling, among others involved with the film, has recently defended the choice to omit the flag.
A film about Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, and they pretend he didn’t post an American flag. Reprehensible. https://t.co/j7VsrOPoVH
— Michael Q Sullivan (@MQSullivan) August 30, 2018
Per the American Mirror:
Ryan Gosling, the Canadian actor who plays Armstrong in “First Man,” Hollywood’s rendition of the moon landing, told the Telegraph the magic moment was intentionally omitted from the big screen because Armstrong’s achievement “transcended countries and borders.”
“First Man” is getting rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival, but critics noted the unpatriotically sanitized flick is missing something important, and Gosling explained he worked with French-Canadian director Damien Chazelle and the Armstrong family to decide on its key moments.
Gosling said he does not think Armstong viewed himself as an American hero, but was simply the first of all of mankind to land on the moon.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “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.”
“He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg – and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true,” the actor continued.
Ryan Gosling on #FirstMan: “Full disclosure, I’m a Canadian, so this might be some form of cognitive dissonance, but I think this achievement was widely regarded not as an American, but as a human achievement, and that’s how we chose to view it” https://t.co/BrCU2rjQhT
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 29, 2018
“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero,” Gosling also said, per the report. “From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
— First Man (@FirstManMovie) August 29, 2018
As the American Mirror points out, however, Armstong has been repeatedly heralded as an American hero and who was honored with a congressional gold medal for his achievement:
Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82, dubbed by President Obama as “among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time,” and he discussed the deliberate decision to go with the American flag over the United Nations flag before he passed.
“In the end it was decided by Congress that this was a United States project. We were not going to make any territorial claim, but we were to let people know that we were here and put up a US flag,” he said, according to the Telegraph.
“My job was to get the flag there. I was less concerned about whether that was the right artefact to place,” Armstrong said. “I let other, wiser minds than mine make those kinds of decisions.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration reports that in 2011 Armstong, Aldrin, and fellow astronaut John Glenn – who in 1962, became the first American to orbit the Earth – were honored with congressional gold medals.
As the report describes, the congressional gold medal is “Congress’ highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.”
Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, achieving the feat aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon, while Collins piloted Apollo 11’s command module.
“We stand on the shoulders of the extraordinary men we recognize today,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at the ceremony. “Those of us who have had the privilege to fly in space followed the trail they forged.”
“When, 50 years ago this year, President Kennedy challenged the nation to reach the moon, to “take longer strides” toward a “great new American enterprise,” these men were the human face of those words,” said Bolden. “From Mercury and Gemini, on through our landings on the Moon in the Apollo Program, their actions unfolded the will of a nation for the greater achievement of humankind.”