Hidden Figures is a stand out film of 2017. It highlighted the true hidden figures that went mostly unnoticed within American society - the African-American mathematicians who worked at NASA.
Set in the southern United States during the 1960s, this story follows the lives of three brilliant African-American female NASA mathematicians and their critical involvement in helping get American astronaut and hero, John Glenn, into space during the Space Race with Russia/Soviet Union.
They were not recognized for their tremendous efforts until much later – a sad truth revealed at the end of the film.
Nevertheless, the women – Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) command the screen. They never stop fighting for the country that doesn’t fully treat them as equal citizens. The small victories in the overarching victory of getting Glen in space, are when the women succeed in demanding to be recognized and treated as equals. In addition to surpassing the barrier that separates humankind from space, these human computers overcame the racial, gender, and professional hurdles that obstructed their paths.
Katherine, Mary and Dorothy’s intelligence and determination are what drives the film and consequently, John Glen into orbit. As a result of this film, they are now, no longer unrecognized, heroes.
Hidden Figures is inspiring and eye-opening. It makes the audience ponder just how many other hidden figures there still are . . .