Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Apollo 11

July 20th 1969 is a date which will forever go down in history as one of the most important in human achievement. The whole world was watching as Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. Whilst his name had gone down in history, alongside Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, it was a huge team effort to get them there and back on one piece. Nasa estimated that it took more than 400,000 engineers, scientists and technicians to accomplish this feat.

Whilst those grainy TV pictures are embedded in our shared consciousness, there is a wealth of outstanding footage out there in the Nasa and National Records archives which hasn’t been seen. Todd Douglas Miller latest film, Apollo 11, sifts through a treasure trove of newly discovered 70mm footage and over 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. With the help of film editor Stephen Slater, he has constructed a compelling story of the lunar landings.

Apollo 11 is a beautiful and meticulously constructed documentary which brings one of the most famous events in human history to life. Using just historic recordings and archive footage, Miller and his team have created a compelling and exhilarating piece of cinema. Despite being a matter of record, Apollo 11 melds a soaring musical score, split-screen techniques and jaw-dropping footage to produce what feels at times like a thriller.  

Apollo 11 is out in cinemas from 28 June.

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