It’s not often that a film which comes under the “based on real events” niche can leave an audience so engrossed, so astounded and so intrigued for its full duration but that is exactly what you get from Theodore Melfi’s 2016 smash hit Hidden Figures. The film stars Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae who are supported by performances from Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons and Kirsten Dunst.
Set in 1960s America – a world of heavy racial and gendered prejudice – the biographical film follows the extraordinary lives of three African American women who work across the board on the US space programme to help send an astronaut into orbit following an increase in pressure after Yuri Gagarin’s successful space flight for the USSR. What is so powerful about this film is seeing, from a human perspective, the level of prejudice and abuse the women were met with despite their best intentions and admirable work. I should mention at this point that, while the abuse the women – and wider non-white-male communities – suffered seems so ridiculous to the point of being almost satirical, the most powerful and frankly terrifying quality of this film is that many of the audience will be able to recognise such prejudice, albeit to a far lesser extent, in their lives and the modern societies we live in. This really stands testament to the masterful performances of the cast which, paired with the exquisite soundtrack by provided Hans Zimmer, makes for a very enjoyable and thought-provoking viewing experience.
Hidden Figures (2016) – Friday 6:50pm on Sky Cinema (Hits).