A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.Written by
20th Century Fox
The phone cord used by John Glenn on Pad 14 in Cape Kennedy is one that is metal reinforced to deter vandalism which would not have been deployed in 1961. See more »
There are no colored bathrooms in this building, or any building outside the West Campus, which is half a mile away. Did you know that? I have to walk to Timbuktu just to relieve myself! And I can't use one of the handy bikes. Picture that, Mr. Harrisson. My uniform, skirt below the knees and my heels. And simple necklace pearls. Well, I don't own pearls. Lord knows you don't pay the colored enough to afford pearls! And I work like a dog day and night, living on coffee from a pot none of you ...
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Engineers and adding-machine operators (called "computers") working at NASA in the early 1960's included a few black women. Since the Civil Rights movement was only beginning, and NASA was located in southern regions of the US, these women were subject to legal discrimination. "Hidden Figures" follows the careers of some of these women. But it does this in a heavy-handed, formulaic way.
Ever since "The Ugly Duckling" of Hans Christian Anderson, the formula has been predictable: a member of a despised minority is grudgingly admitted into a previously exclusive activity. Will the minority figure excel in the new position, or will he/she fail miserably, justifying the prejudices of the ruling class? Telling you the answer would be a spoiler, so you'll have to guess it for yourselves, but it's not too difficult.
In "Hidden Figures", all the whites are bigots (except for John Glenn and one department head), and all the blacks are hard-working, clean, patriotic moral wonders. This is history dumbed down to junior high-school level. The heroine, a mathematically gifted black widow has managed to stay chaste and raise three perfect children while handling a difficult job under trying conditions. The other characters are no more believable.
The period detail is mostly well done, with electric typewriters and glass-knobbed coffee percolators. But in the early '60s, all engineers would have carried slide rules, the way doctors wear stethoscopes. There are none to be seen here. Also, any time the heroine wants to work out a mathematical problem, she has to climb a ladder and write it out on a large blackboard. Scrap paper existed in the '60s.
If you want to watch a simple-minded morality play rather than a movie, history reduced to the level of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", then "Hidden Figures" is for you.
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