There is a fair amount of controversy being generated by the upcoming film “First Man” starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong; the first man to step on the moon. Directed by Damien Chazelle, who made the films “Whiplash” and “La La Land”, gives us a most serious look at the Cold War race and risks to get a man to the moon first.
Apparently, in a creative decision, the filmmaker has decided not to show Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon or recreate the iconic photo of Armstrong saluting the U.S. flag on the moon. Chazelle and Gosling argue that the event was one that transcended nationality and was an achievement for humankind. Thus, the flag was purposely discarded. However, critics are responding that it was American ingenuity that got Armstrong to the moon, American taxpayers who funded the mission and, at the time, there was a grave fear that the Soviet Union could be well ahead of the United States in technological achievement. Erasing the flag lessens the sacrifices and tensions felt during that Cold War period.
These Terrible Times suggests a compromise: