SFF 2017: Review – The Farthest

While most of us are preoccupied with bickering with each other, others thankfully turned their attention to a refreshingly broader perspective to explore the solar system and way way beyond. The Voyager missions. Having launched back in 1977 the technology was basic, but it still represented a great advancement in knowledge in just a handful of generations.

The spacecraft famously include a gold record. An audio time capsule of us sending a greeting to, who I like to call, everybody else. The record contains music, sounds of the natural world, greetings, and also encoded photos. There was a bit of controversy. The naked images of people caused a stir, and the risk of sending a friendly message to belligerent peoples who might reply by attacking us.

The film does feel a bit like the sort you would see in a science museum – talking heads, inspiring words, some nice computer generated images, Carl Sagan and his poetic soliloquies – but it’s nice to be reminded about this every so often.

The film nicely captures the feelings of the engineers working on the project. The mission was quite the emotional rollercoaster. Emotions that they still feel to this day.  The engineers do a great job in conveying excitement and wonder in the findings of the mission. Something new this film brings is the feelings of the engineers when they see the aircraft for the last time as well as the troubles the aircraft had in the early stages of the flight.

This is a rare opportunity to see the majestic images of our solar system’s back yard on a big screen. This is inspiring cinema where we see a group of ambitious, smart people achieving something that deserves universal praise.

The Farthest screens at the Sydney Film Festival 18 June. Check the Sydney Film Festival website for details. http://www.sff.org.au

Michael Collins


Friday 16th of June, 2017

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