THIS week we mark 50 years since Apollo 11 landed the first man on the Moon.

And if the celebrations have inspired you to learn a little more about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins’s mission then you cannot go far wrong with Al Reinert’s For All Mankind.

Originally released in 1989, the filmmaker – who died last year – used NASA archive footage and videos recorded in space to create this mindblowing piece that reminds us that fact can be as spectacular as fiction.

For All Mankind has been newly restored in high-definition for this milestone year in the hope of introducing it to a new generation of viewers and it is still awe-inspiring. Reinert, who also wrote the screenplay for Apollo 13, starts the film with President Kennedy’s vow to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth.

After that, the director blurs the line between documentary and drama. Footage from the Apollo 8 mission onwards, culminating with the successful lunar landing itself, is compiled in such a way that it feels like one journey. And you are invited along for the ride with a soaring score from Brian Eno.

Reinert’s documentary is interesting in that strips away the analysis, the context of the Space Race and to a certain extent even the staggering achievement itself.

It is more a tribute to human endeavour that gives a sense of what it must have been like as an astronaut in these historic moments. So there are no talking heads or statistics. Instead you get a sense of their playful fascination with zero gravity and hear the kinds of jokes that were cracked to relieve the tension. A human feat hard to comprehend, the footage of Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon is also incredible from their first steps to exploring a ‘new world’ on the rover. It is such a shame Armstrong is not here to see this milestone but let’s hope the anniversary inspires a new generation of astronauts.

RATING: 7.5/10