Directed by Rob Sitch, starring Sam Neill, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long, Roy Billing and Patrick Warburton.
On July 20 1969, 600 million people around the world witnessed the most remarkable achievement in the history of humanity: man walking on the moon. After ten years and billions of dollars, NASA had launched the Apollo XI programme and the entire globe watched with bated breath. This much we know. What is not so well known is how those television pictures were beamed to the masses.
'The Dish' tells the story of how a team of Australian scientists became vital cogs in NASA's enterprise to beam live pictures of the moon landing into homes across the globe. Originally intended as a back-up facility to Goldstone, California, a late schedule change meant the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia was entrusted with the task of relaying the historic images.
For a film where the ending is pre-ordained, 'The Dish' is a compelling account of the tension-filled, dramatic days leading up to the lunar landing. Against this momentous backdrop, it presents us with a range of gloriously quirky individuals. From Sam Neill's composed, avuncular head scientist, Cliff, to Roy Billing's excited Mayor Bob McIntyre, director Rob Sitch's obvious affection for the characters invests 'The Dish' with a rare warmth and humanity.
With an eclectic soundtrack including music from Bert Kaempfert and Mason Williams, this is a tender memoir of one of the few occasions when the world united in awe. Quaint, charming and with the right mix of nostalgia, 'The Dish' is a funny, homespun tale which both informs and inspires.