Neil Armstrong's Sons Defend 'First Man' After Flag Controversy
Universal Pictures/Daniel McFadden
Movie

The movie was called anti-American by critics who took offence to the film's failure to show the moment the American flag was planted on the lunar surface.

AceShowbiz - Neil Armstrong's sons have defended the new Ryan Gosling movie about their father's mission to the moon.

Gosling plays the iconic astronaut in "First Man", which focuses on the the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

Directed by Damien Chazelle and based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie was called anti-American by critics who took offence to the film's failure to show the moment the American flag was planted on the lunar surface.

Rick Armstrong and Mark Armstrong released a statement jointly with author Hansen on Friday, August 31 to dismiss reports that the movie was unpatriotic.

"We do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest," the statement read. "Quite the opposite. But don't take our word for it. We'd encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for themselves.

"This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement 'for all mankind'," they continued.

Oscar-nominated director Chazelle also defended the film amid the outcry, and said his goal with "First Man" was to "share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America's mission to the moon".

He added: "This film is about one of the most extraordinary accomplishments not only in American history, but in human history."

Gosling also responded to the criticism, and told reporters after the film's premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday, August 29: "I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that's how we chose to view it."

Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82.

"First Man" is set to be released in the U.S. on October 12.

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