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#OnTheBigScreen: Moonfall

There is only one film released this week: The moon plunges down to Earth in Roland Emmerich's Moonfall.

A mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it.

With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, Nasa executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) is convinced she has the key to saving us all - but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), and conspiracy theorist, K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), believe her. The unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space only to find out that our moon is not what we think it is.

Visionary filmmaker Roland Emmerich is a master of cinema spectacle, encompassing science-fiction blockbusters like Independence Day, 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow as well as historical epics including The Patriot and Midway.

In addition to scale and scope, the acclaimed filmmaker’s work always presents a cornucopia of fun, relatable themes, fully realised characters and powerful emotions about the power of hope.

With Moonfall, Emmerich, along with frequent collaborator Harald Kloser and screenwriter Spenser Cohen, crafted a screenplay combining gripping science fiction elements, ever-destructive disaster scenarios as well as fascinating and relatable characters where humanity faces the true and absolute dark side of the moon.

For Moonfall, a theory that described the moon as something vastly different from what we learned in high school science class inspired Emmerich. b“There are some who believe that the Moon is not a natural object,” he remembers.

“I thought that was an intriguing idea for a movie. What happens if this object falls down to Earth? Of course, we would have to figure out how to stop it but I was equally fascinated by the challenge of creating characters who embark on a mission to the moon to save our planet as well as the families who stay behind and struggle to survive the cataclysms that come with the moon’s collision course with Earth.”

Much of Emmerich’s work is also about family relationships which are very much at the heart of Moonfall. “Family dynamics are rarely easy and in our movie, pretty much every family is broken. But this cosmic event brings them together and leads them to understand that family is the most important thing in their lives,” he says.

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About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit

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