Hidden Figures and history

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I’ve been looking forward to seeing Hidden Figures since seeing the movie trailer months ago. The film is based on the story of female African American mathematicians and physicists that played vitally important roles in the success of our 1960s space program, and is set to open in theaters on January 6. Reviews have been good (like here, and here), and Space.com has an interesting piece about the movie’s commitment to authenticity. Meanwhile, PBS provides background on the true history and the book on which the film is based. Apparently, besides the film’s female protagonists, John Glenn is portrayed in a particularly positive light. Although the movie takes some liberties and condenses timelines and events, NASA chief historian Bill Barry was impressed with its accuracy. “Ever so often,” one reviewer writes, “Hollywood actually finds something new under the sun and tells us a story we haven’t heard before.” Now, isn’t that much better than remakes and all these computer generated –the-world-is-ending-unless-some-superheroes-save-us– flicks that we have been overwhelmed with lately? Hey screenwriters, history is filled with such tales.

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