This film tells the story of a group of black female mathematicians who worked on the early NASA space programme. This being a time when the US was still racially segregated, the women had to endure “coloured only” bathrooms and even segregated water fountains while contributing to the space race with the Soviet Union. The film focuses on three women in particular, who are friends. Katherine Johnson is the most brilliant mathematician, drafted in to help NASA calculate flight trajectories in an age when computers were in their infancy and most calculations had to be done by hand.
A seemingly estranged father (Michael Shannon) appears to kidnap his own son from what turns out to be a cult and takes him on the road… But why? And where are they going? And why was the boy revered by this cult?
The details slowly emerge as the chase progresses and we learn more about the boy, Alton, and certain powers he seems to posess. But we never quite understand them, and the director (Jeff Nichols) keeps playing with the audience’s understanding of what may be going on.