Previews May 12, 2017
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
They Promised Her the Moon is a probing drama based on the true story of an astronaut who had all the right stuff but never got the chance to be the first woman in space.
Though they were deft at maneuvering around the many obstacles of their era, both Jerrie Cobb — who was part of the secret female astronaut-testing project now known as Mercury 13 — and the famed pilot who funded the project, Jackie Cochran, found themselves confronting less obvious, more personal roadblocks as well. Cobb, who is alive today, actually out-tested her male counterparts in the official Mercury 7 group (led by John Glenn, Gus Grissom, and Alan Shepard). Still, she was denied the chance to be the first woman in space, in part due to Glenn, who became, in 1962, the first American to orbit the earth and later a United States senator. He spoke against the inclusion of women as astronauts in the space program. A year later, Russia sent the first woman into space; it would take another 20 years for the U.S. to give Sally Ride her mission.
More than a documentary chronicle of an overlooked chapter in our history, They Promised Her the Moon is a thought-provoking and haunting drama about the challenges of fighting for the greater good (versus ego), fairness, and sisterhood.