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April 14–20, 2017

Chicago Premiere

Mission Control:
The Unsung Heroes of the Apollo

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Film still: Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of the Apollo
"Engrossing... the film benefits greatly from its ability to review events from the viewpoints of the men on the ground in Houston"
"Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo hits a piece of the spaceflight story that many other documentaries have only grazed"
  —Film Journal International
"Well-crafted, revealing"
  —Los Angeles Times

At the heart of the Apollo program was the team who worked at Mission Control in Houston. They were born in the mid-20th century, a time of economic turmoil and conflict and some came from farms with a lifestyle that has not changed for a century, while others grew up in a blue-collar America of mines and smoke stacks. They ranged from kids just out of college to those hardened by military service, but from this group of people an extraordinary team was born, setting out on what JFK called: "The most hazardous, dangerous, and greatest adventure upon which mankind has ever embarked."

Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo takes us from the faltering start of the US program, through their personal struggles, to the glories of the Moon landings, covering the first journeys to the moon by Apollo 8 and Apollo 11, and the huge effort required to save the crew of Apollo 13. This documentary consists of interviews with those who worked in Mission Control and astronauts, enhanced by an extraordinary archive, stunning VFX and an original orchestral score.

Directed by David Fairhead, U.S.A./UK, 2017, 101 mins.


  • Fri., April 14 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., April 15 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., April 16 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., April 17–20 at 7 & 9 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation