Astronaut: The Last Push (2013) is a vivid, picturesque display of an inevitable and impending mission in the future. Director Eric Hayden projects a time when we'll eventually discover water on other planets and that humanity will be compelled to move towards it. At the very core, humans are a curious species, willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of knowledge, even if it means discovering something beyond our capacity to understand.
The DailyMail reported in 2012 that we've discovered "huge quantities of water vapour have been detected on a ‘super-Earth’ 40 light years away – even more water than exists here." We've been on the hunt for extraterrestrial liquid water for a very long time and we haven't found the right one, but maybe this one that the DailyMail reported, GJ1214b, may actually be it. Although astronomers predict that it's a large waterworld, maybe we won't know until we see for it ourselves.
When an unmanned probe returns photographs of extraterrestrial liquid located underneath the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa, NASA decides to send another mission. The length of time it would take to prepare this mission would take too long and the urgency is now more than ever. The rush and excitement of this discovery leads everyone on a mad dash, specifically a business tycoon Walter Moffitt (Lance Henriksen) who divulges a massive amount of his personal savings personally funds the trip towards Europa aboard LIFE ONE.
Hayden uses an intricate combination of realism and rawness that leaves you experiencing an almost true mimic of events had we ever chosen to take a man beyond our comfort zone. This story is, in more ways than you imagine, very factual and technically dense. This would drive the sci-fi fan nut insane and the sci-fi noobie a little bit bewildered. The Last Push is a proposal and a primer on space exploration, the kind of issues that we would face and the sacrifice that must be made. The story is really an attempt to come to terms with our eventual need to explore long before the imminent fear of total Earthly demise, we have to think about exploring those waterworlds before it's too late.
The Last Push Mockumentary
Watch our interview with Eric Hayden!
Hayden is very interested in the scientific, psychological and emotional aspects that would arise from space exploration. Right in the beginning he establishes the need to explore, the discovery of a species deep within the ice of Europa, leading to interviews, direct camera contact, and typical nuances of the media in response to the discovery, the plan (i.e. interview with Moffitt), and the final farewell from the astronauts aboard LIFE ONE.
What are mockumentary movies? According to Wikipedia, here's a basic definition (source):
A mockumentary (a portmanteau of the words mock and documentary) is a type of film or television show in which fictional events are presented in documentary style to create a parody. These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictional setting, or to parody the documentary form itself.
Some of your favourite mockumentary movies follow this type genre, like Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run, Rob Reiner's Spinal Tap, and Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. These mockumentaries deploy serious scientific facts to strengthen their capacity to be able to enlighten.
The Last Push is a film that conceptualizes and interprets the psychological characteristics of any person left in a psychologically perilous situation. Wikipedia has an exhaustive list of all the known side-effects of prolonged space travel, you can read them here. Astronauts go through extensive psychological testing and training to protect their mental and emotional state. The end is clear, directly like in the beginning, Hayden demonstrates the will to push, to take a stand one last time, a chance to make a difference--would anyone do the same?
Eric Hayden is an outstanding director and this film is truly worth every minute! It's now available on Amazon, get it today!