The Last Man on the Moon | Chicago Reader

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95 minutes · 2014

Documentary
As commander of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, astronaut Eugene Cernan became the last person to walk on the moon's surface (he wrote his daughter's initials in the dirt before reboarding the lunar module). That may not be enough of a distinction to justify a documentary, but Cernan did participate in three space missions altogether, and his recollections of them, nicely re-created with archival footage and sound effects, make for an interesting memoir (2014). Director Mark Craig struggles to construct a terrestrial portrait of Cernan, now a Houston retiree in his 80s, and one senses a man powerless against the gravitational pull of his career. Interviews with his family members confirm that, like many former astronauts, he regards himself as an angel among men; at the same time, he seems trapped in his own past, still second-guessing his performance during the troubled Gemini 9A mission in 1966.

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