This new Irish film is in cinemas on Friday, and is one of the very best films of 2017
It isn't very often that we would demand you go see a documentary on as big a screen as you can find, but every rule needs an exception, and this movie is that exception.
A few months ago, we talked about the trailer for The Farthest when it was first released, and we knew then that this was going to be something special.
With Irish director Emer Reynolds telling the hugely visual story of the launch of the Voyager mission for NASA which was launched 40 years ago, informing us of the once-in-a-lifetime things we would be learning from the images the Voyager would be sending back, as well the hugely entertaining team that were involved with the mission.
There have been plenty of five-star reviews arriving in the lead-up to the Irish release, and they are all hugely deserving, telling a unique, interesting, educational story that is full of eye-popping visuals and hugely heart-warming characters telling their story of the little Voyager that could.
Clip via The Farthest Film
Essentially making and raising their baby and then sending it out into the world, that is exactly what Reynolds had to do with this movie, and the reaction since the release has been nothing short of incredible, winning Best Irish Documentary and the Audience Award at this year's Dublin Film Festival, as well as one of the top prizes at the Barcelona International Film Festival.
Now with the film is going on general release in the UK and Ireland, it is time for audiences at large to be exposed to the greatness of this movie.
We had the opportunity to have a quick chat with Reynolds, and asked was there any part of the story she was telling that she herself found to be completely jaw-dropping:
"The whole adventure, everything the Voyager has achieved, and is still achieving, continues to blow my head off. We had know idea how varied and beautiful the solar system was before the Voyager was launched, what we thought was just icy, cratered blobs on a picture was actually massive nitrogen geysers and liquid ice and volcanoes and water potentially containing life. We actually found a solar system that would completely blow your hair back."
Seeing this documentary, one of such a vast scale and of a global interest, come from an Irish director, with a crew with a large Irish contingent, co-produced by the Irish Film Board, is a matter of great pride, and should be applauded as loudly as possible.
Reynolds has been a part of the Irish film industry for over 20 years, having previously worked on the likes of I Went Down, One Million Dubliners and Patrick's Day, but in that time, how has she seen the Irish film industry change?
"When I first started the Irish film industry, the film board had been closed down, there was no funding available for independent Irish film. And when it was re-opened, and then I worked on I Went Down back in 1996, it felt like the first time we really seen ourselves on the big screen, modern Ireland being shown by young film-makers."
"Since then it feels like it has only gone from strength to strength, with the confidence and the vision in young Irish film-makers, and Irish film-makers wanting to tackle all sorts of stuff, including something like The Furthest. World stories, not feeling like we can only tell stories that are set in our own back yard."
One of the major plot-points of the documentary is the 'Golden Record', which is essentially an LP, made of gold, that features music and images and directions back to our planet, something that will potentially outlive humanity as we know it, but if Reynolds had had any input in what went on that record, what song should we have put on there?
"I'd want to put load of jazz on, cos I'm a bit of a jazz fanatic, but that's probably not the way to go about it. They don't have Bowie, they don't have Elvis, they don't have Bob Dylan, there's a lot of extraordinary composers and musicians who aren't on there."
"But as the producer of the record said himself, there's obviously an awful lot more great music that's not on the record than there is, and that's a good thing, because imagine living on a planet that's so pathetic that it only has 90 minutes of good music!"