Predictably, the decline in funding for NASA is complex, but the documentary “Fight for Space” doesn’t require knowledge of rocket science to understand. The engaging film digs into the reasons and the possible ramifications for this reduction from a variety of angles, featuring interviews with familiar faces Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and Michio Kaku.
“Fight for Space” not only features the perspective of these scientists, but it also adds the voices of politicians such as Lamar Smith and astronauts including Jim Lovell. Through talking-head interviews and archival footage, it relays the history of the U.S. space program from its infancy through the present. It looks at NASA through the lenses of policy, economics, the military and technology, explaining why America went to the moon, and why we’ve never returned — or gone beyond — in the decades that have passed.
The orchestral score from Ron Jones, whose previous work on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” nicely echoes the themes here. Unfortunately, the sound mixing is off, making the music overwhelm the dialogue throughout the film.
Though “Fight for Space” doesn’t innovate artistically, first-time director Paul J. Hildebrandt’s documentary makes strong arguments for scientific innovation. It will likely find a home on public television and in classrooms, making the curious wonder why we aren’t doing more and what they can do about it.
‘Fight for Space’
Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena