People and audiences will get to see the historic moon landing like never before as Director Damien Chazelle will be bringing it to the cinema in his film, “First Man.”
The film features actor Ryan Gosling depicting American astronaut Neil Armstrong, his work with NASA and his journey into the cosmos.
One scene which will be omitted from the film, however, is the iconic planting of the American flag by Armstrong on the moon’s surface. The decision has been widely criticized, but a new voice has joined in on the criticisms: Armstong’s fellow astronaut, Buzz Aldrin.
The retired astronaut simply tweeted two pictures of the iconic scene with the hashtags: #proudtobeanAmerican #freedom #honor #onenation #Apollo11 #July1969 #roadtoApollo50.
“Proud to be an American,” says it all.
Check it out:
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) September 3, 2018
The comment was quickly praised:
Thank you, Buzz Aldrin. https://t.co/9d1ScC1Nhl
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) September 3, 2018
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) September 3, 2018
Thank You Mr.Aldrin for your great service and for post this picture, I got all choked up . I will not be seeing the movie out of respect for you and the other astronauts
— Michael (@MikeGBergeron) September 3, 2018
Omitting the planting of the flag on the moon is omitting a piece of history. The film is dishonest.
— Lenny-T (@vtlen) September 3, 2018
Salute to you sir! 🇺🇸
— Brian J (@Hmfic8) September 3, 2018
You’re my biggest hero. Thank you for everything.
— Alexis (@alexisthegreat) September 3, 2018
Several hours later, Aldrin added the following tweet:
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) September 3, 2018
As Daily Wire reports, the decision to omit the American flag scene was artistic, rather than political.
“My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon,” the director said. “I wanted the primary focus in that scene to be on Neil’s solitary moments on the moon…”
Here’s the full statement, from Deadline:
In “First Man” I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon — particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.
I wanted the primary focus in that scene to be on Neil’s solitary moments on the moon — his point of view as he first exited the LEM, his time spent at Little West Crater, the memories that may have crossed his mind during his lunar EVA. This was a feat beyond imagination; it was truly a giant leap for mankind. This film is about one of the most extraordinary accomplishments not only in American history, but in human history. My hope is that by digging under the surface and humanizing the icon, we can better understand just how difficult, audacious and heroic this moment really was.
The choice was defended by star actor Gosling, who said the moon landing was a “human achievement” rather than an “American one,” via Daily Wire:
But whatever the filmmaker’s motive, it is star Ryan Gosling who has most fueled the controversy, stating that the Apollo 11 mission to the lunar surface was not so much an American accomplishment as it was a “human achievement.”
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it …”
Of course, Gosling is correct that Armstrong’s triumph was a giant leap for mankind, not just for Americans, but where he makes his mistake — and he is certainly not alone — is in seeing the two as mutually exclusive.
The lunar landing was, in fact, a human achievement, but it was achieved by a very specific set of humans — Americans.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio and others denounced the decision.
Rubio tweeted: “This is total lunacy. The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission.”
This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission. https://t.co/eGwBq7hj8C
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 31, 2018
H/T: TwitchyNote: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.