For All Mankind

Director: Al Reinert

Institute History


During the four years between December 1968 and November 1972, there were nine manned space flights to the moon. Twenty-four men made the journey, the first human beings to leave the planet for another world. They carried with them their private thoughts and the collective aspirations of a nation.
For All Mankind is composed entirely of footage the Apollo crews brought back, magnificently blown up to 35mm and accompanied by a stunning, evocative score by avant-garde composer Brian Eno. Using excerpts from over eighty hours of taped interviews with the astronauts, the film constructs one composite story of their journeys. This collective Voyage—for it is indeed mythic in its ambition and grandeur—unfolds for us, as it did for the voyagers, with moments of high drama interspersed with spells of low humor, nervous boredom, danger and awestruck wonder.
For All Mankind, as its title suggests, strives for a transcendent quality, beyond time and into space. It is not, properly, a documentary about the American space effort, let alone the Apollo space missions. there are not “talking heads,” no interviews with scholars, no dramatizations of past events. None of the twenty-four astronauts is even mentioned by name. For All Mankind is instead a series of immediate experiences, each presented in present tense and narrated in first person by someone who satisfied the ancient and archetypal yearning for travel into space.

— Tony Safford

Screening Details

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