Please rent For the Love of Spock (2016)

spock4For the Love of Spock (2016) is a great documentary and a good experience.  It’s the usual documentary of interviews and behind-the-scenes information, but the background information about Leonard Nimoy is really moving.  

I think a really detailed documentary about Leonard Nimoy’s career from the 60s and 70s could fill a movie on its own, so the film really isn’t about that.  It’s about how his career affected him and his family.  There are clips and little anecdotes thrown in for color, and it’s interesting to follow the timeline.  It sounds like Nimoy had dozens and dozens of jobs in those days, most of them not as well-known as Mission Impossible, In Search Of, or Star Trek.

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Nimoy’s son

Nimoy’s son Adam conducts the interviews and tells the story himself, which is a good touch.  He sounds like a narrator most of the time, and he interviews people who give a personal perspective, which is great.  One man who now works at NASA explains Spock’s influence on his life, which is very interesting and a great, positive message.  The celebrated scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson also chimes in with his love for Spock.  You can see what the movie is all about by that point.

spock2For the Love of Spock is a great counterpoint to the dark and depressing movies of today.  That’s not to say the movie is all positive, because it touches on the controversy and the rough times in Nimoy’s life, but that’s not all the movie is about.  Nimoy himself gives his recorded insights on Spock, although the documentary somewhat glosses over his difficulties with the character, as if he didn’t have any. They don’t mention the book “I am not Spock” and the controversy surrounding it, because it was received as a misunderstanding saying Nimoy hated Spock, which wasn’t the case.

There are tales from the new cast of the JJ Abrams series of movies.  Abrams himself tells some stories of working with Nimoy, which reinforces the rest of the documentary.  He tells one story of when Nimoy fell down on the reboot Star Trek movie and broke his nose.  No one ever heard about this story, because Nimoy worked through it.  It never made the press.  Nobody even whispered about it in rumors.  It was just another thing Nimoy worked through in order to complete his work with as much professionalism as he could.  

Overall, this is a great documentary.  It ends with a personal touch from Nimoy’s son, about his wife’s cancer and the feelings of his father.  The stories end with feelings about family.  Nimoy and his son recovered their relationship.  His brother-in-law gives the most moving quote of the whole documentary when he says to Nimoy in the hospital, “You made the world stand up and listen…”.  It’s true.  We all love Spock when we really mean we love Leonard Nimoy.

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