To create the year’s first must-see documentary, director Todd Douglas Miller worked with Nasa to restore fascinating unseen footage from 1969

A man sips a beer, eyeing the horizon from a Florida parking lot. Nasa techs sit in a lobby as headlines blare of Ted Kennedy’s car crash in Chappaquiddick. They’re two of the many striking details – ordinary, recognizable moments amid one of humankind’s most extraordinary achievements – restored to full vitality in Apollo 11, an all-primary source documentary, meticulously restored. The 93-minute documentary, released for a limited time in the US on IMAX before a wider release, and to be shown in museums later this year, captures the first moon mission and its spectators in the visceral, wide-lens color of cinema epics – an achievement in historical preservation that hinged on the discovery of long-unopened boxes idling in archives.

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