It’s a strange experience watching a true film about events you lived through. It also pushed one of my buttons, which made it at times a difficult film to watch.
It’s a film about the early days of the space race and the race between the US and the USSR to get a man into space at a time when no one knew if a man could survive in outer space. What is fascinating is that this is the world without computers, well not the kind we now live with. The computers are human beings who do all the calculations by hand. They are actually called computers because they, well compute!
When an IBM mainframe does finally arrive no one really has a clue what to do with it.
However, that’s not the real story.
This is the story of three remarkable young women and their contribution, their hidden contribution to the success that NASA enjoyed. The problem is that these brilliant young women are black. Segregation is everywhere.
Separate bathrooms, lunchrooms, back of the bus only seats, water fountains, cups, mugs, you name it is separated and segregated. That’s the button that got pushed, as a young person when I learned about these situations in the USA and in South Africa I was incandescent with rage and not a few tears. It wasn’t as bad in this country but they could still put up signs here saying “no coloureds”.
As a student in the 1960s, I took part in street protests about civil rights and I’m proud that in a small way I made my voice heard. Leaving aside the way women were treated in general back then, which is a whole other issue, this film shows what courage and bravery it took for these three real human beings to be heard and accepted.
On every level, it is a stunningly good film and for those not old enough to have lived through the exciting times of our first steps into outer space it is highly educational. It also stars Jim Parsons who I have never seen in any other character than Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory.
These three ladies, still alive are now highly decorated and honoured for their contribution to the space programme. Hidden Figures is on Sky Cinema and available in UHD.
It’s worth way more than five stars.
About the author
Stuart Catholic, Bibliophile,Cinephile, Deltiologist and Casual Philatelist. All things Apple, Been online since 1983.