22 December 2010 | mjneu59
down to Earth
Twenty years after Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Sea of Tranquility, eight Apollo astronauts look back on the experience of space flight and tell how their unique perspective of planet Earth, shared by only a handful of its inhabitants, changed their lives. And often not for the better: after traveling to the moon there is, in one astronaut's words, no higher mountain to climb, and the lack of any greater challenge led, for many, to frustration, mental breakdown, and divorce. But the more common response was a profound expansion of personal horizons, drawing artistic ambition out of one, religious conviction out of another (devoted to a search for Noah's Ark), and increasing for all an awareness of how fragile and precious our world is. The film itself is a worthwhile companion to Al Reinert's 'For All Mankind', despite being more earthbound in style. But the lack of any big screen exhilaration is balanced by the honesty and enthusiasm of each astronaut interviewed, sharing their thoughts and feelings with rare and revealing candor.