First Man (2017) IMDb


Seen in 2019.

Seen with Swedish-language narration on SVT.


Dramatized documentary.


Human ancestor species, primarily Pierolapithecus, Sahelanthropus tchadensis (“Toumaï”), Australopithecus sediba and Homo erectus.


Based on simplified versions of speculative theories from very scant evidence, without acknowledging this problem. Even viewed with that knowledge, it’s not very good. Unprovable gender dynamics are placed front and center in the service of drama, with mature “alpha” males consistently taking the role of conservative villains. Moments of discovery (e.g. tools, scavenging, hunting, weapons, cooking, aesthetic apprecation of nature) take the place of any serious discussion of anatomy. The silicone masks and hairy costumes are unconvincing, the actors clearly limited by their own modern skeletons. It’s a marginal improvement over the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), adding only a sense of context and more recent science. The nicest thing I can say about this series is that it foreshadows inevitable, stronger efforts from the same idea, which will eventually be great.

moving picture nature non-fiction series