Hidden Figures tells a story you don’t see in many films. Of course there are enough movies which are about people who are good at something and strive to be the best, but there aren’t many which tell a story about three African-American women who played a very important role in the NASA space program while the United States still had laws in place which treated them differently.
Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) work at NASA. All in different roles. Vaughn as “computer” (when all calculations were still done by people because computers were still too expensive and unreliable) who wants to be a supervisor, Jackson who often can be found at engineering to help the men there but who can’t officially work there because she doesn’t have the right papers (which she also isn’t allowed to get because of local law). Johnson starts out in a group of the brightest people of NASA to check calculations, but quickly proves she’s one of the best in the team and is willing to come up with new ways of approaching things in order to win the space race with the Russians.
Although this is a movie about race this isn’t as dramatic as you might think. There is some struggle, but it is lighter in tone. It’s all about how these women, despite the issues they face, kept doing their work and excelled. With personal stories and lots of humour this is really a feel good film worth watching.