Sydney Film Festival Review: The Farthest (Ireland, 2017) is a documentary of astronomical proportions

I don’t want to make a Star Trek joke – it’d be too obvious and you would only resent me for it – but as much as it pains me, I do need to say that space really is the final frontier. It’s always right there, just outside our atmosphere, and for decades we humans have been trying our best to learn anything and everything we can about it.

Taking a look up at the sky, director Emer Reynolds brings us The Farthest; a documentary which follows the Voyager probes’ mission to explore the solar system, dropping the audience right in the middle of the deep dark blackness that surrounds our planet.

Starting in 1977, this visually outstanding documentary centres itself around the people involved with the initial mission to send out two probes – Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 – tasked with photographing the outer planets, giving them a platform to reflect on their achievements.

The Farthest becomes a heartfelt two hours, and you can’t help but smile as you see how happy and proud these scientists are, and how excited they get talking about their life’s work even after all these years. We see their diagrams and notes as they tell us the story about why their mission was so important.

On top of exploring the Solar System, the team was tasked with including a time capsule within the probes which contained as much information on the human race as they could, should the probes be intercepted by any extra-terrestrial life.

The documentary explains the reasoning behind what was chosen to be blasted to the other end of the universe, from a recording of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode to illustrations of the male and female bodies (which caused a stir among the public because how dare NASA send smut into outer-space?!).

The Farthest really is a film you should see in the cinema if you get the chance; nothing says space like surrounding yourself in darkness. The cinematography is great, and contrasts amazing shots from the perspective down here on Earth looking back up into the sky with some mesmerizing shots of deep space. You’ll get lost in the Voyagers’ journey across the stars in what really is a feel-good movie.

Running Time: 121 Minutes

The Farthest is screening as part of the Sydney Film Festival on June 16 and 18, for more information click here.


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