Luna

Tagged: Film

Russian documentary film (1965; vt The Moon). Leningrad Popular Science Film Studio. Directed by Pavel Klushantsev. Written by an unidentified author. Starring unidentified actors. 51 minutes. Colour.

This documentary begins with numerous scenes of the lunar surface, accompanied by narration suggesting some discussion of the volcanic origins of lunar features; there follow several lectures, apparently also focused on the nature of the Moon, and an animated look at how a flight to the Moon might be accomplished. Finally, there is an extended sequence involving a man and woman on the lunar surface. They walk around wearing very large and bulky spacesuits which make them walk slowly, although they can also leap high, due to the lower Gravity, and the man at one point picks up and throws the woman with one arm. They walk across a rocky terrain, seemingly very interested in lunar geology. Evidently advancing in the future, the film shows a lunar vehicle resembling a robotic spider, a large building in which people in shirt sleeves survey the Earth and Mars, and a rocket launcher on an extended track. Residents of the Moon now live in elevated spherical buildings, supported by spires, which include gardens with fruits and plants. In the final scene, the man and woman are again walking on the Moon in spacesuits, but now their child is walking between them, also wearing a spacesuit. Among other sights, there is a statue of a space pioneer next to a Spaceship.

There seems to be no available English-language version of this documentary, which was long suppressed by the Soviet government after it became apparent that the Americans, not the Russians, would actually be the first to reach the Moon. In a sense it is a sequel to Klushantsev's earlier documentary Doroga k Zvezdam (1957; vt Road to the Stars), showing not only the first landing on the Moon but its gradual habitation; one also assumes that the statue on the Moon is of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, which would be another link to the previous film. Like residents in that film's Space Station, the people living on the Moon maintain lush interior gardens and enjoy watching ballets on television. [GW]

see also: Space Documentaries.

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