For thousands of years man has dreamed of visiting the stars. Beginning in the mid 1950s, the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union, Capitalism and Communism, morphed itself into the Space Race. Whilst the USSR and Yuri Gagarin won the battle to put a man into space it was NASA who were the first to get a man on the Moon. There were, in total, seventeen Apollo missions and Eugene Cernan took part in two of them, as well as being the last man to walk on the moon.
Mark Craig’s documentary, The Last Man on the Moon, focusses on telling the story of America’s space program through the eyes of Cernan. The former naval pilot is a charismatic and fascinating character whose passion and dedication keep driving him forward. However, we see the effect this time-consuming endeavour has on his family. With no future manned Moon landings on the horizon, there may be no one following in his footsteps for several generations.
What makes The Last Man on the Moon such a fascinating documentary is a combination of brilliant editing and a strong central persona. The choice to document the history of skyward endeavour, including the setbacks, through the memories of someone heavily involved adds a new dimension and life to an oft-told story. It takes us back to a time where astronauts were huge celebrities. Craig’s documentary highlights that they were just normal people who followed their dream.
The Last Man on the Moon is in cinemas from 8 April with a special Nationwide Live Q&A with Captain Eugene Cernan on 11 April