Buzz Aldrin blasts First Man over American flag omission

Buzz Aldrin blasts Neil Armstrong biopic First Man for not showing the planting of the American flag on the moon and says ‘I’m proud to be an American’

  • First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, opened the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday
  • The film chronicles Neil Armstrong’s life from 1961 to the Moon landing in 1969 
  • Critics noted it leaves out the moment Armstrong plants a US flag on the Moon 
  • Gosling explained that the achievement ‘transcended countries and borders’

Buzz Aldrin appeared to criticise Neil Armstrong biopic First Man for leaving out the planting of the American flag on the moon.

The 88-year-old, who was the second man to set foot on the moon after his late crew-mate, tweeted a picture of the flag planted after their landing in 1969. 

He captioned the photo: ‘Proud to be an American.’ Aldrin also re-tweeted a photo of him saluting next to the same picture.

First Man – from the Oscar-winning director of La La Land Damian Chazelle – opened the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday to criticism that it deliberately downplayed American patriotism.

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Aldrin, who was the second man to land on the moon after crew-mate Neil Armstrong, tweeted a picture of the flag planted after their landing in 1969

Proud American: Aldrin also re-tweeted a photo oh him saluting next to the same picture

Buzz Aldrin (pictured in 2016) appeared to criticise his new biopic First Man for leaving out the planting of the American flag on the moon

First Man – from the Oscar -winning director of La La Land Damian Chazelle – opened the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday to criticism that it deliberately downplayed American patriotism. Pictured: The flag on the moon in 1969

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin raise the US flag on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission 

Starring Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, the film begins in 1961 as the US trails the Soviet Union in the space race and takes viewers up to the Moon landing in 1969. 

But it came under fire for not including the moment the astronauts planted the American flag, with Gosling defending the decision by saying the achievement ‘transcended countries and borders.’

Marco Rubio was among the politicians to weigh in, tweeting: ‘This is total lunacy.  The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission.’

Canadian actor Gosling said he believes the moon landing was widely seen as a ‘human achievement’ and that’s what the film reflects.

He added that Armstrong, who died in 2012, was ‘extremely humble’ and deferred focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the Apollo 11 mission possible.

‘He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg – and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true,’ Gosling explained.

A new film about Neil Armstrong, played by Ryan Gosling (pictured at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday_ has left out the moment he planted the US flag on the Moon

First Man begins in 1961 as the US trails the Soviet Union in the space race and takes viewers up to the Moon landing in 1969. Pictured, Gosling in the film

The Canadian actor (pictured as Armstrong in the film) said the achievement ‘transcended countries and borders’

Gosling also joked that he may be biased because he is Canadian. Chazelle is French-Canadian

‘So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.’

Gosling also joked that he may be biased because he is Canadian. Chazelle is French-Canadian.

The decision to place a US flag on the Moon was controversial at the time with debates over whether a United Nations flag should be used instead.


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Armstrong himself said that his job ‘was to get the flag there’ and he was less concerned about what flag it should be.

He said Congress had decided that the Moon landing was a US project.

Co-produced by Steven Spielberg, First Man – which also stars Claire Foy – is based on a 2005 biography by historian James Hansen.

First Man is one of 21 movies in competition for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival which will be awarded on September 8. 

First Man is based on a 2005 biography of Neil Armstrong (pictured in 1969) by historian James Hansen

 

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