Clarke defends ‘First Man’ against flag criticism

Deauville: “First Man” star Jason Clarke has dismissed criticism that the film is less than patriotic as it does not depict the planting of the American flag on the moon.

Clarke, who stars as the first American man to walk in space Edward Higgins White in the Apollo 11 story, responded to criticism surrounding the Damien Chazelle directorial following a critical tweet from politician Marco Rubio decrying the lack of the flag-planting scene.

“It’s nonsense, it’s just nonsense. The film itself can be interpreted as patriotic,” said Clarke, speaking at the Deauville Film Festival where he was accepting a career honour, reported

“It’s just silly and naive I think. Of course it celebrates one of the greatest acts of America and Americans and humanity and mankind.”

The controversy followed the film’s press conference in Venice last month, when star Ryan Gosling said he believed Armstrong’s moonwalk “was widely regarded not as an American, but as a human achievement”.

The comments spread on social media before Rubio slammed the film for not depicting the American flag being planted on the moon, tweeting: “The American people paid for that mission, on rockets built by Americans, with American technology and carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission.”

“People look for conspiracy theories rather than looking for the truth,” added Clarke.

Clarke drew comparisons between that film’s theme and today’s political atmosphere, which he called “dangerous.”

“We’re happy to hold up people that hold up our ideals but don’t really buy them. Hypocrisy and lack of responsibility is one of the biggest challenges facing us today,” he said, citing the “win at all costs” mentality that pits political opponents against each other, reported