The Dish (2001) is set in the NSW country town of Parkes in 1969. It is well to keep in mind that it is essentially a comedy, but it does reflect a degree of truth about the role the Parkes Radio Telescope played in the moon walk of Neil Armstrong in July 1969. Just what is fact and what is not is made clear by the CSIRO at “The Dish”: Fact versus Fiction — a quick comparison.
It brought memories flooding back. First, I visited Parkes a couple of times in the mid to late 1960s. This YouTube replicates that, even if over thirty years later.
Second, I hadn’t realised the moon walk was the day after my mother’s 58th birthday, but I vividly recall watching it at Cronulla High School, which ground to a total halt that day while the whole school gathered around various television sets to see an event that really captured our imaginations. That was my last year at Cronulla as a teacher; it was my first appointment. The movie captures all that brilliantly, except I would quibble that the Channel 9 News they run a clip of at one point is the Melbourne version whereas in Parkes it would have been the Sydney version relayed through some local commercial TV station.
Loved the movie though. Do watch it if you get a chance. Here is a good review.