ON THE GOOD EARTH

On The Good Earth, 2011, Super 8, Double Super 8 and iPhone videos transferred to HD video. 4 min. 37 sec.

On Christmas Eve 1968, a special message was sent to the earth from its moon’s orbit in what was the most watched television broadcast at the time. Apollo 8 astronauts Bill Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman described what they saw on the surface of the moon as their spacecraft orbited around it over the course of 20 hours. The broadcast ended with all three astronauts reading the first ten verses of the book of Genesis, the first book in the bible. The reading was the subject of controversy when a lawsuit was brought against NASA over the reading from Genesis to ban US astronauts—who were all government employees—from public prayer in space. In 1969, the US Postal Service issued a postage stamp commemorating the Apollo 8 flight around the moon. The stamp featured a detail of the famous photograph of the Earthrise over the moon taken by Anders on Christmas Eve, and the words, “In the beginning God…”
The film shows mysterious grainy black and white footage of two astronauts sitting behind bars in an unidentifiable space surrounded by mundane objects that stand witness to the demise of man’s greatest dream.