In the Shadow of the Moon : 5 of 5
I've always been fascinated with space exploration and especially the Apollo program, so I would have loved this documentary regardless, but I actually have a special connection to the film. Back in his Air Force days, my dad knew Charlie Duke, one of the Apollo 16 astronauts, and since this film features lots of interview footage with Charlie (as well as lots of video of him in his younger days), I was definitely interested to listen to his first hand experiences! That's exactly the purpose of this film, to look at the Apollo moon missions completely through the eyes of ten living astronauts, entirely through interviews and tons of incredible mission footage. There's no other narration (except a few titles on screen periodically), and it's incredible to get to know these men by their own words alone. Michael Collins from Apollo 11 does the most talking, probably because he's so animated and articulate, but the film also features Jim Lovell (from Apollo 13, of course), Buzz Aldrin (who reveals he was the first to pee on the moon), and many other incredible personalities. Even though most of the focus is on the early Apollo 1 tragedy, the successful Apollo 11 landing, and the Apollo 13 problem and rescue, I learned so many things and thought about so many emotions that I hadn't considered before, such as the astronauts feeling guilty that they weren't fighting in Vietnam. The most amazing discovery for me is that Charlie Duke was CAPCOM (or Capsule Communicator, directly to the astronauts) for the historic Apollo 11 landing, so the voice of Houston on the recordings I've heard so many times is actually someone my dad knew! I was completely immersed in this documentary for the entire running time, and the DVD also includes an additional hour of great footage that wasn't used in the film. I'm always amazed by the accomplishments we can achieve (from the Apollo missions to the recent Mars lander), so watching a movie like this gives me a wonderful feeling!