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Movie review: Hidden Figures an important historical document

NASA HEROES: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe in a scene from the movie Hidden Figures.
NASA HEROES: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe in a scene from the movie Hidden Figures. Hopper Stone

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 US history.

This is a time before computers and smart phones. I know, hard to remember.

Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as 'human computers', the film follows these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds, tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return.

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine 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 US history as true American heroes.

The film opens with the ladies stranded on the road when a police car stops to check on them.

It is clear that the male Caucasian officer is not used to meet African American females who worked for NASA.

The uncomfortable moment we experience, witnessing such treatment was, truth be told, the treatment many Americans experienced on daily bases in the early 1960s in Virginia.

Despite segregation being illegal, many facets of life were still tainted by people's reactions to colour of someone's skin.

This film produced a double miracle: it made me like Kevin Costner and look with suspicion at Kirsten Dunst.

Their roles are well written and superbly executed, but I am still recovering from my first Costner-appreciation encounter. I guess there is a first for everything.

This is a great film with a long list of superb performances.

Hidden Figures is out on cinemas now.

 

Do not miss

  • Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe.
  • Director: Theodore Melfi
  • Reviewer: Javier Encalada
  • Verdict: 4.5/5

Topics:  cinema movie review space race


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