As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.Written by
20th Century Fox
Written and Performed by Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams performs courtesy of i am OTHER Entertainment/Columbia Records See more »
It made for an old-fashioned movie going experience...
This is the true story of three African-American women who worked for NASA on the Mercury program in the early 1960s. Solid performances by all, some laugh-out-loud scenes, and some very emotional moments. It's also an important look back at the civil rights issues of the time period. The climax is a bit Apollo 13ish, and I'm fairly certain some scenes were embellished, but who cares. You should walk away from this film smiling, maybe even a bit choked up.
And in spite of it being an overall positive experience, I could feel the oppression at certain points - Dorothy at the library just trying to find the right book, but it is in a part of the library to which she cannot gain admittance due to her race. Mary being reminded that she must sit in the back of the court room, again because of her race. Katherine runs across campus just to find a bathroom that she is allowed to use and never once complaining about it until she is publicly berated about her use of time. Kevin Costner's character appears to be a generally good person who doesn't care about race, and yet still never even thought about the difficulty of being forced into a certain bathroom half a mile away.
You don't need to understand the mathematics to enjoy the film, but I admit, it was fun to hear some concepts I haven't heard since my college days.
The theater was almost full, with people of all ages. I was particularly happy to see some kids there, as there is much for them to take away from this film.
Twice during the movie the audience broke into applause, and then applauded at the end credits as well. I don't recall the last time I heard that at a film. And most importantly - I did not see a cell phone light up the whole time - truly a miracle.
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