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Three African American women in 1960s and space race America, The right to count is a true story to learn from
If you think this is the usual feminist story you are wrong, because The right to count (in cinemas from 8 March) is a film that will appeal not only to women - even if it is mainly they who must encourage change.
In fact, at a time when there is a struggle for the rights of every possible minority in the world, we are still far from achieving equality between men and women, if not on paper, even in Western countries.
Higher salaries and more prestigious positions are always reserved for those who have the Y chromosome, even if, read by hand, we live in the part of the globe where it should not (anymore) be so, fortunately.
Yet perhaps it is (also) our fault, because we have stopped fighting for our rights and, strengthened by who we are, we are content to be aware of them, instead of demanding what we are entitled to - that is, treatment equal to what is reserved for men, in all fields.
We tell you why you will not only like this film, but it will also do you good.
We are in the America of the sixties, that of the Cold War and the space race, when the only goal of the US was to overtake the Russians in any field and especially in space.
The protagonists are three African American women, three mathematicians from the NASA section known as that of human computers, able to perform very complicated and numerous calculations before the advent of computers.
Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson are three real women who, while contributing to America's victory in the space race, also accelerated the recognition of equal rights for women at a time when opportunities were visibly limited. - if you were a woman, if you were African American and, more than ever, if you were an African American woman.
In the film, the behind the scenes of the first orbital tour of an American space shuttle, in which these three women were more protagonists than ever.
"If you were a white man would you want it? - If I were a white man I would already be "
Director Theodore Melfi explains: "For NASA, in that historical moment, brains were more important than race or sex. These women were intelligent and knowledgeable and could do all the mathematical calculations NASA needed - who else could they have chosen for them? '
The stakes were very high for all Americans
In 1958 the Soviet Union had successfully launched the Sputnik satellite, establishing itself in a position of advantage in the Cold War and this event had catapulted the space race to the top of the priorities and concerns of the United States.
Millions of people watched the challenge, hoping that America would be able to beat the Russians to get there first to conquer the Moon.
A goal to be achieved by any means.
That is why despite the Jim Crow laws undermining equality and equal rights in Virginia, Langley was hired an all-female team, including a number of African-American math teachers.
They remained segregated, ate in separate rooms, worked in an isolated department called West Computing and were paid less than their white colleagues, but their work stood out to the point of prevailing over that of men.
What all women, young and old, should learn from this film is that you can really do anything in life if you dedicate yourself to it with all your soul and heart.
You have to know how to recognize your own abilities and then make everyone else recognize them - doing what is necessary to get noticed and respected.
The film explores a part of the story that is not documented, and that everyone should know.
"Yes, NASA allows women to do some things"
Kevin Costner leads the Space Task Group
Nostalgic, get ready: at the helm of the Space Task Group is Al Harrison, played by Kevin Costner.
His character, a man highly motivated to reach space, plays a fundamental role in the film and in the story.
For him, anyone who was able to take man into orbit and bring him back to Earth safely was welcome, whatever his sex or ethnicity - as it should be, but as it was not even remotely imaginable in the reality of the world. era.
His, the phrase that will make you want to get up and applaud: "Here at NASA everyone pees the same color, no more bathrooms for blacks, no more bathrooms for whites: go to the one closest to your desk."
If it seems like a strange quote, watch the movie and you will change your mind.