The Atlantic

The Absurdity of the First Man Flag Controversy

The film is a 141-minute commercial for a uniquely American brand of determination and achievement.
Source: Neil A. Armstrong / NASA / Getty

This article contains spoilers for First Man; yes, we all know how it ends, but there’s more to it than that.

First Man, the Neil Armstrong biopic out in theaters on Friday, is many things: a breathtaking cinematic production that pays as much attention to the accurate replication of spacecraft as it does to the stunning visual rendering of the lunar surface. A dramatic retelling of a space race between two very different nations, and the maddening moments when the Soviets outmaneuvered the Americans. An intimate portrait of the soft-spoken pilot whom NASA chose for the pivotal achievement in the saga, and his difficult journey to get there.

What First Man is not, however, is an unpatriotic film.

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