Apollo 11 capitalises on a vast treasure trove of vision and audio that has remained unseen and unheard since it was first captured.
Apollo 11 capitalises on a vast treasure trove of vision and audio that has remained unseen and unheard since it was first captured. Supplied

MOVIE REVIEW: The finest moon landing doco ever made

While we have probably lost count of how many documentaries about the first moon landing have been made in the 50 years since that famous day, the latest to join that number just might be the best of them all.

The momentous filmmaking achievement that is Apollo 11 is all due to the tireless work of director Todd Douglas Miller, and a dedicated team of historians, archivists, curators and researchers.

Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong head to the launch pad in a scene from the documentary Apollo 11.
Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong head to the launch pad in a scene from the documentary Apollo 11. Supplied

Instead of recycling well-worn stock shots of the big blast off, that momentous first step and the American flag driven into the lunar surface, Miller and his crew went looking elsewhere for fresh footage.

Many deep dives into the archives of both NASA and the major US broadcast networks have uncovered a vast treasure trove of vision and audio that has remained unseen and unheard since first captured.

Remarkably, someone inside NASA had the foresight to commission an extensive coverage of events around the Kennedy Space Center during the entirety of the mission. On 70mm cameras, no less.

Apollo 11 is a complete triumph from takeoff to splashdown.
Apollo 11 is a complete triumph from takeoff to splashdown.

Just as remarkably, this deeply evocative and genuinely uplifting footage has never been illuminated on a screen until now.

What Miller ultimately builds here is a mesmerising chronicle of the Apollo 11 mission in its entirety, cut together chronologically without any interruptions from narrators or interviewees.

The miraculous nature of this breakthrough mission to the moon - achieved with rinky-dink technology, rigorous mathematics and the crossing of fingers and toes all over the world - is bursting from every frame.

From takeoff to splashdown, a complete triumph.

APOLLO 11 (G)

Rating: Five stars (5 out of 5)

Director: Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur13)

Starring: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins.

A mission totally accomplished



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