“Hidden Figures”, adapted from Margot Lee Shetterly’s true story, is an inspiring, hopeful, and uplifting movie about three African American women who help America win the Space Race. While using mathematics to help NASA be the first to space, Kathrine Johnson (Taraji Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) become an integral part in America’s victory.
Taking place in the 1960’s, during the peak of the Cold War and Civil Rights Movement, the struggles and intolerable acts of racism portrayed a reality for the three women. Their daily routines at NASA’s headquarters were compromised. Bathroom breaks turned into a mile long journey, where the women could only use segregated bathrooms and water fountains. The emphasis bathroom breaks for Kathrine are shown in several scenes throughout.
The movie is centered around the three women and keeps the focus on the constant discrimination they face. Throughout the film, the women defy all stereotypes put on them by their co-workers and the white men in charge. The historically accurate components throughout brought authenticity to the film.
The development of the characters allows for the audience to relate to the modern issues of racism and overcoming them. Mary Jackson, one of the women, shows her resilience by applying to take classes at an all white high school in order to become an NASA engineer. Her dream pushed through the hate, racism, fear of the time and allows her to become the first African American engineer at NASA.
A positive aspect of the film is the emphasis of small tasks that are made into huge strives for the Civil Rights. The inspiring acts of the women brings a hopeful outlook on the strength of determination — something this generation could use.
Although inspiring and heartfelt, the slow pace of the film takes time to reach the climax. The underlying issues of racism and sexism for the women repeatedly show up in the film’s plot. The emphasis shows the development of characters that ultimately end racism in NASA’s headquarters.
The untold story of these three women is finally revealed. The story behind America’s journey to space is a well-rounded drama, with a story the whole family will enjoy.