If you’re looking for a film that is not only uplifting and feel good, but will also inspire you to rise up against adversity and achieve something great, then make sure you see the newly released Hidden Figures. The big screen adaption of Margot Lee Shetterly’s sensational true story of the same name tells the tale of an unlikely American dream and the untold story of the black women who helped win the space race.
The film follows the fight of Katherine Johnson along with fellow mathematicians Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan as they work in the segregated West Computing Group of NASA’s space centre. Set in 1960s Virginia, USA, these seemingly ordinary women would soon become extraordinary, as they devoted their efforts and lives to put a man into space before the Russians ever could.
Johnson, Jackson and Vaughan were the first women, and African American women at that, to pave their own way at NASA despite enduring a barrage of sexism and racism at the hands of their colleagues and peers. It was their utter devotion and determination that saw their calculations become integral to several historic space missions, including John Glenn’s successful orbit of the Earth.
At the heart of the story and ultimately the true message of Hidden Figures is the idea of struggle and united willpower in place of individual glory. Do your best, push past boundaries and know your worth, but do so without any expectation, other than the right to do what you do and to do it well. With its focus on sisterhood and not just personal growth alone, Hidden Figures shines through with its communistic spirit, and in casting its spotlight wide it’s a movie which conveys a profound appreciation for what can be achieved in the shadows.