We see the context in which the photograph was taken – a mere two frame shot that Korda took during a memorial service for victims of the La Coubre explosion, when Che stepped forward for a few seconds before disappearing from view. The power of the image struck Korda but it was not widely circulated until the student riots of 1968 in Paris, when the image suddenly exploded and became a symbol for the passions of an entire generation.
The unbelievers (calling them conspiracy theorists would be tainting them unnecessarily – especially when they could be very well true!!!) come up with come damning points. The believers refute these points hotly and the unbelievers counter-point. Its an intense back and forth that rivets you.
This documentary which was shown in 2001 on Fox Networks, is however biased towards the unbelievers, a fact that you realize when you look up the issue on the internet. A documentary which is biased has a serious flaw. Having conceded that point, it does build up a convincing case for side that believes that the moon landing took place in a studio on earth. The evidence is many sided (scientific, visual, sudden and strange deaths) and they all just make you stop and think.
When one has read about set-ups that governments have manufactured around the world, many documented (and many naturally undocumented, which then become conspiracy theories) which leads me to believe, at any rate, that a hoax like this can be carried out if a powerful government is hell-bent on it. “Wag the Dog” and “Capricorn One” are just two movies which show how easily it can be done. Knowing all this and knowing that US Government needed to take a huge psychological leap forward to beat the Soviets (and also to distract from the Vietnam War), we suddenly have both the motives and the means and the capabilities (if a superpower cant pull this off, who can?)
It makes for a compelling story. And when you look at the internet forums and look at the other side of the argument, I realized that even with all the refutations made by the other side, some questions were not answered satisfactorily. Why didnt the Soviets do it? They were far ahead in terms of technology. Why are none of the astronauts allowed to live a public life? Sudden inexplicable deaths of a large number of astronauts in the period of the moon landing. When you think of these and other things, you realize that there is truly no smoke without fire. Somebody is not telling the whole truth.
Which is why I too believe in being an unbeliever. However I am open to a clear refutation. But then that’s the beauty of conspiracy theories – they refuse to go away. They tend to excite our imagination, our sense of mystery and that is something we like to have. I guess, if they prove that we actually landed on moon, I would be a pretty disappointed believer!!!
Incredible and breathtaking are two words that escape you quite soon as you start watching this documentary which has a narrative like a movie script. At the core of the script is a very human story of love, perseverance and sacrifice and yes tragedy and triumph in equal measure. The words “Human spirit” has been used so often that it is easy to forget that the the same spirit of dogged determination to survive is present in all species – from the lowly ant to mammoth whale. It is just that we have the faculty of diverse language to express it more often and very self-consciously. For the ‘dumb animals’, the ‘spirit’ is just a way of life.
Of course, what makes this movie extremely watchable is due to the fact that it has penguins in its main starring role. Who hasnt found these gentlemanly birds cute?!!! When they waddle across the wide expanse of Antarctica, swaying from side to side, they look exactly like portly Victorian gentlemen complete with a coat, who have had a little too much of the drink!!! Put a hat on them and from a distance they would look like a procession of 19th century gentlemen brought accidentally by some time machine.
That and the fact that they almost look and act like humans at times (which is us human’s primary fault of course – in our infinite ego, we like what looks like us). When they find their mates, they almost look like a couple in extreme love, standing with their heads close together, caressing each other with their beaks.
The story focuses on the whole process of the march of the penguins to the breeding ground, to the role that each mate plays in the survival of the egg and then the chick, to the dangers and the tragedies that lurk at every corner, to the final triumph of the chicks finally surviving to add to the tribe. What is implicit in the story is that nothing comes for free and the ultimately without cooperation, nothing is possible. The penguins, in fact, has a very egalitarian approach to the process (born out of necessity, no doubt), which is very endearing.
The movie is one of a love story. What makes it magnificent is the fact that it has exquisite scenic photography, great moments captured on camera and above all, it only makes the penguins look, well, very cute!!!
A great watch…