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Historian defends movie based on his book about Neil Armstrong

Throughout all his success, James R. Hansen hopes that he has made his students from the past 31 years proud with his newest venture, the upcoming film “First Man.”

Hansen, professor emeritus of history at Auburn University, is the author of the only official biography of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and a co-producer and co-director for the upcoming film adaption of the book, both titled, “First Man.”

Hansen worked alongside director Damian Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling on the project, where he gained immense respect for both men, he said.

Recent controversy has surrounded the film as some have accused the movie of not being patriotic enough. People have spoken out about their discontent with this, including President Donald Trump announcing that he will not be viewing it due to the omission of the iconic flag-planting moment into the lunar surface….

The movie begins with the death of Armstrong’s young daughter Karen, and the rest of the movie focuses on the Armstrong family’s healing from that loss.

“[The movie] not only needs to finish the journey to the moon, but it needs to finish the grief journey, too,” Hansen said. “We had to finish the grief journey for [Neil].”

Hansen admits that maybe the production team should have realized the possibility of the negative reaction on the omission of the American flag planting, but they were focused on Neil’s story, not just the Apollo 11 story.

“It’s just a reflection of our time as these things become politicized,” he said. “There was a strong comment from Mark Armstrong, the younger of the two sons, who thinks that with this controversy that Neil would be very bothered by it, sullying the promise of this new film.”

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