By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– October 20, 2017 … It captures one of humankind’s greatest achievements, timelines how we became an interstellar species, tells the story through a powerful, critically-acclaimed documentary — and it’s coming to Victor Valley College.
The Farthest, a feature-length film about NASA’s Voyager mission 40 years ago, will be screened in VVC’s Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, and the fact that it’s a free event isn’t even the best part. Writer and Director Emer Reynolds will be present — upon flying in from Ireland — for a question and answer session after the film, moderated by Daily Press Editor Steve Hunt.
“It’s so exciting for us … and amazing for our community to have someone this accomplished as the writer and director to come out,” said Linda Morabito, an instructor of astronomy at VVC. Morabito, who worked with NASA for 10 years and made the discovery of volcanic activity on Jupiter in 1979 during Voyager, is featured in the film along with the other scientists who accomplished the mission.
“I believe (Reynolds) is doing this for our students … We are so unique in this regard,” Morabito said. “The movie has had screenings at the most renowned film festivals in the world, including its international premiere at Tribeca, and other than those film festivals, we’ve very unique in this opportunity because she cares this much for the students of our region and VVC.”
The Farthest tells the tale of the twin spacecraft that completed not only the Grand Tour of the outer solar system — revealing the incomparable wonder of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — but also, in 2012, passed into a realm of space where nothing else of human-making has ever been before.
The little craft still travels on, carrying an iconic Golden Record with greetings, music and images from Earth, meaning that, in a billion years, Voyager could very well be the only thing to mark humanity’s existence.
Based on the film reviews — “Dazzling,” from The New York Times, “Exactly what the World needs right now,” from the L.A. Times and “The Ultimate Space Documentary,” from The Hollywood News — The Farthest may be the most highly acclaimed documentary of the year, and is well on its way to being nominated for top awards.
At two hours and one minute, the film is also available for purchase, but the opportunity to speak directly with Reynolds Friday is an exclusive to attendees of the screening at the college. “I think it will be a compelling and wonderful evening for everybody,” Morabito said, noting that it falls “so much in line” with VVC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Lecture Series. It is the third annual installment of the series, the first being a talk from one of the world’s top astrobiologists, Dr. Penelope Boston, and the second a presentation from space scientist Dr. Mark Showalter of the New Horizons First Mission to Pluto team.
“People like this do these things for the students … They want them to invest in themselves and fulfill their potentials and recognize that, with hard work, they can make their dreams come true,” Morabito said. “That is the basis of this lecture series and we are so excited to reach not only our students, but the students of the region.”
The previous events both filled the seats in the PAC, so guests are strongly encouraged to arrive early, as “Taking Your Family to Interstellar Space” will be a “first come, first serve” event. Both parking and entrance will be free for all attendees.