Where were you on June 20, 1969? Chances are, if you’re in Boom’s demographic, you weren’t even born yet. That’s alright because Apollo 11 takes you right back to that moment in time: the very first time that man stepped on the moon. There has been a near-infinite amount of documentaries, films, books and even songs written about this historic event – but it’s safe to say none of them will eclipse this breathtaking doco anytime soon.
What makes Apollo 11 stand out is purely down to its construction. There’s no typical talking heads, pop culture artefacts or narration to be found in this film. Instead it’s almost entirely built up from archival footage and recordings as the mission was taking place. From the morning before launch, right through the voyage itself, until the astronauts arrive back home – you are there with them throughout every moment. What’s most surprising is that although we know the story, you’ll still be held in a state of suspense hoping it all works out. When the base NASA crew break out into cheers as the team reach the moon, you’ll be cheering right with them.
Now, without narration to explain exactly what’s happening, it can be easy to get lost in all the space lingo and terminology – but the stunning images and sound is enough to keep you impressed by the sheer magnitude of the mission alone. Whether that’s the enormity of the ship or watching Armstrong and Aldrin step out for the very first time, it still feels as massive now as it did then. The film will also likely inspire you to research and find out more about what you’ve just seen.
Apollo 11 is an absolute wonder – both as one of man’s greatest achievements and as a spellbinding documentary. Even if you think you’ve heard the story enough times before, this is one ride worth taking again.