Ryan Gosling in a scene from “First Man”.
(Universal Pictures via AP)
The sons of the legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong to defend from a forthcoming film about their father’s historic moon landing, saying: it is not “anti-American in the slightest.”
Rick and Mark Armstrong, along with Armstrong biographer James R. Hansen, responded to the criticism of conservative pundits and politicians, who have complained that the film does not depict Armstrong planting the American flag on the surface of the moon.
“First Man” hits theaters next month.
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant an American flag on the moon in July 1969.
The Armstrong sons and Hansen released a joint statement Friday, saying that the director, Damien Chazelle, the film is “the opposite” of “anti-American.”
They added that most of the comments against the film are “mostly made by people who have never seen the movie.”
“This story is human and it is universal. Of course celebrates an achievement in America. It also celebrates an achievement for the entire human race, ” the statement said.
“This story is human and it is universal. Of course celebrates an achievement in America. It also celebrates an achievement for all mankind.'”
– Rick and Mark Armstrong and author James R. Hansen
“The filmmakers chose to focus on Neil looks back at the earth, his walk to the Little West Crater, a unique, personal experience of completing this journey, a journey that for so many incredible highs and devastating lows,” they said.
“First Man” does not depict the flag planting, but it includes multiple pictures of the American flag on the moon.
Chazelle said that the decision to use the flag planting was not political, but aesthetic. The ‘La La Land’ filmmaker was motivated to build a picture of the risks and challenges of the moon mission through the eyes of Armstrong.
“We don’t feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest. Exactly the opposite. But don’t just take our word for it. We want to encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for yourself” https://t.co/T848T0TXGQ
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 31, 2018
“The flag is physically planted in the ground is one of the many moments of the Apollo 11 on the moon EVA [extravehicular activity] that I have chosen to focus on,” Chazelle said in a separate statement Friday.
“On the question of whether this is a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this film was to share with the audience the unseen, unknown aspects of the american mission to the moon — in particular, Neil Armstrong ‘ s personal saga and what his thoughts and feelings during that famous few hours,” the director said.
Ryan Gosling, the Canadian actor who portrays Armstrong in the film, defended the decision not the flag, reportedly say that he doesn’t think “Neil viewed himself as an American hero … we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
After the film premiered earlier this week at the Venice film festival, some commentators on social media who had not seen the film criticized. They responded largely to Gosling told reporters in Venice that the astronaut of the performance “transcend countries and borders.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., blasted the comments, tweeting “This is total madness.”
This is total madness. And a bad service in a time when our people need to remember what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by the Americans,with American technology and carrying American astronauts. It was not a UN mission. https://t.co/eGwBq7hj8C
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) of 31 August 2018
“And a bad service in a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve if we work together,” Rubio tweeted on Friday — though it was not immediately clear whether Rubio had seen the movie. He responds to an article about.
Film critics still praised the film, expanding the “First Man” to the beginning of the lists of potential Oscar favorites. Universal Pictures los Oct. 12.
“This was an achievement beyond imagination; it really was a giant leap for mankind. This film is about one of the most extraordinary performance, not only in American history but in human history,” Chazelle said. “My hope is that by digging below the surface and the humanization of the icon, we can better understand how difficult, brave and heroic this moment really was.”
Neil Armstrong died in 2012 at age 82.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.