When the film “First Man” debuts stateside, it’ll be the most comprehensive look at the moon landing that Hollywood has ever put forth.
Yet, it will do so without the most iconic scene from the entire moon landing: The American flag being planted on the lunar surface.
“When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon in 1969, it marked one of the proudest moments in US history,” the U.K. Telegram reported Wednesday.
“But a new film about Armstrong has chosen to leave out this most patriotic of scenes, arguing that the giant leap for mankind should not be seen as an example of American greatness.
“The film, ‘First Man,’ was unveiled at the Venice Film Festival yesterday, where the absence of the stars and stripes was noted by critics.”
So, what’s the explanation? The film’s star, Ryan Gosling, said in part that featuring the historic flag scene wasn’t something Armstrong, who died in 2012, would have wanted.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling said.
“I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.
“He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true.
“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
I have no idea what Neil felt. However, I can tell you what Buzz Aldrin, his companion on the first lunar landing felt.
That’s because he told everyone back in 2015.
My proudest moment – when I saluted the flag on the moon. Today I salute those who gave their lives for our freedom. pic.twitter.com/HxkSreDN9z
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) May 25, 2015
“My proudest moment — when I saluted the flag on the moon,” he tweeted on Memorial Day.
“Today I salute those who gave their lives for our freedom.”
To Aldrin, that flag stood for America. And America stands for freedom. That’s not the liberal storyline today, and just the idea would likely horrify the Hollywood elite.
Now, this is Aldrin, not Armstrong. However, I don’t think that Aldrin was some sort of Bieber-like publicity hog who reveled in being a jingoistic “American hero” while Armstrong just shrugged it off. I don’t think I’m terribly far off thinking that both probably felt the same way about the American flag and planting it on the moon.
In short, Gosling’s explanation is what the kids like to call “hooey.” Okay, kids circa 1938, but you get the basic idea.
This wasn’t about humility or “deferr(ing) the focus.” This was about the fact Hollywood didn’t like the American flag — or at least, doesn’t think that national pride and its assorted ephemera aren’t all that great — and didn’t put in the movie.
Let’s call it what it is. At least that way, Hollywood’s elite can find out what moviegoers really think about the American flag — and how much it diverges from their vision of what the stars and stripes represents.
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