Astonishing documentary – Apollo 11 (2019), directed by Todd Douglas Miller – Film Review

Apollo 11 is an important historical record of one of our most incredible achievements. It’s masterful storytelling and brilliant documentary filmmaking, put together with skill and artistry, entirely from archive material and original interviews from the time, and as such it has a purity that makes it original, compelling and completely moving.

Todd Douglas Miller’s outstanding documentary that tells the dramatic story of the Apollo 11 mission that enabled Neil Armstrong to take a giant leap in July 1969 and become the first person to walk on the moon. The film is 93 minutes’ of original 35 and 16 mm film from the time, mixed with TV coverage, CCTV camera images and some amazing 70mm footage discovered in NASA’s archives that has never been shown publicly before, and follows the whole Apollo 11 mission that enabled Neil Armstrong to take one giant leap in July 1969 to become the first person to walk on the moon.

The astonishing archive material goes behind the scenes at NASA as the crew of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, prepare for the mission, we follow them onto the Saturn V rocket and it feels like we go on the mission with them, climaxing with their successful return to earth and their first brave steps on the PR treadmill to meet an eager world audience, anxious to hear their every word.

Apollo 11 includes revealing footage from inside Mission Control, of the crowds gathered to watch the launch and from the living rooms in the astronauts’ homes, as often terrified family members watch every second live on TV. Matt Morton’s superb musical score adds perfectly to the drama of the mission, dragging the audience in even closer to the tension, there didn’t feel like there was a single out-of-place note in the whole film.

We highly recommend watching Apollo 11. If you can get to see it at an IMAX theatre you’ll be able to experience to full impact of the film, but as time goes by the opportunity to see it at the cinema will naturally diminish, but thankfully it’s soon to be out on Blu-ray, surely a must-have for anyone’s collection.

As for a rating, we gave it: FIVE STARS.