Letter to the Editor: ‘First Man’ captures essence of Armstrong’s story, journey


Dear Editor.
My wife and I attended the screening of First Man, sponsored by Southern Tattler and Opelika Observer, last evening and we found the film very engaging. It was different from what I expected…I expected to see a portrait of a heroic figure surmounting all obstacles to achieve a noble goal.
Instead it portrays Neil Armstrong as an exceptional but humble man, engaged in a challenging human quest. The film is long but moves along quickly from episode to episode (with some flashbacks) so at its end, I wished for more. Captions on the screen introduce transitions between vignettes, with threads of continuity from family, work, people, politics, space program, etc. Understandably only so much can be shown in a 2+hour movie and not all facets of Armstrong’s life are told—for example his service as a Korean War fighter pilot. And, necessarily to engage the audience, it is Hollywood dramatized, but not flagrantly.
The movie is well worth seeing and I believe will be as well received as Jim Hansen’s book, First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong.
I wrote a poem, The Allure of Flight, which I have attached, and is apropos to the film. I am a pilot and wanted to capture the essence of the mankind’s yearning for flight.

James Hoogerwerf


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