If you grew up between the 60s and 90s, you were in three camps; either you were a Star Trek fan or a Star Wars fan, or you were square and severely lacking in character. Admittedly, I was in camp Star Wars, from watching re-runs of the original series, right the way through to the Next Generation, and subsequent spin-offs, until they did the questionable reboot in the noughties with that guy I loved from Quantum Leap, Scott Bakula. However, my love for Star Trek and some of its iconic characters has endured the franchise’s few shortcomings. One of those characters I loved dearly, was of course Spock, played by the dearly departed Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015).
With all of the above considered, I was very intrigued to learn that Adam Nimoy, the legend’s son was creating a documentary about the man and the myth of Spock, with his father’s participation. Despite the fact that Adam Nimoy is an accomplished director in his own right, I was worried he may be too close to the subject, but I watched it anyway, and I’m thoroughly happy that I did.
For the Love Spock sets out to analyse the impact that Spock had on our times, through the lens of his fans, loved ones and his colleagues (who also loved him very much). It was moving to see so many people close to Leonard Nimoy, appear in this film to pay tribute and share their experiences of him. Leonard Nimoy also appears in the film, through rarely seen archive footage as well as taking part in interviews and narration for this film. The sum of the collective insights shared throughout the documentary range from cheeky and heartfelt to profound and deeply moving.
Now, before you write this film off because you’re not a ‘Trek fan, there’s a lot more to Nimoy than his role as Spock. Adam Nimoy, who also appears as a talking head and co-narrator in this piece, does a solid job of painting a full picture of his father’s personality and pursuits before, during and following his time on the Star Trek franchise, including his work in the theatre and as a fish tank maintenance engineer. There were also some tough times during Nimoy’s life, including a significant period of estrangement between Adam and his father, substance abuse, alcoholism and professional battles. And although it felt like the low points were included as footnotes, we have to give the film credit for not shying away from those chapters as well, providing some valuable depth and enhancing its authenticity.
Why did people love Spock so much? The film’s talking heads tell us that it’s because he was an outsider and he was the embodiment of integrity, and (ironically) humanity. Without doubt, the character of Spock is a pop-culture icon that made an indelible mark on the entertainment world and the generations touched by him. For the Love of Spock is a moving and loving portrait of a man, a man who created one of the most recognisable television characters of all time.
The film, which has been released as part of the 50th celebration of Star Wars, will be shown on November 16 during the Jewish film festival, which is currently running across five cities until the 20th of November. Other festival highlights include romcom “The Wedding Date” and pointed comedy “The 90-minute War”. Thousands of people will be attending the UK Jewish Film festival, now its 20th year, as it attracts a broad range of events and quality films submitted by experienced as well as rising-talent filmmakers. To avoid missing out and to get involved, head here for more information: http://ukjewishfilm.org/