Neil Armstrong's sons defend absence of flag-planting scene in 'First Man'

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Los Angeles : Neil Armstrongs sons and director Damien Chazelle have defended the absence of a flag-planting scene in the movie "First Man," which details the 1969 moon landing.

Rick Armstrong and Mark Armstrong released a statement jointly with "First Man" author James R. Hansen on Friday in the wake of claims that the lack of the flag planting in the movie is unpatriotic, reports

"We do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest," the trio said in a statement.

"Quite the opposite. But don't take our word for it. We'd encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for themselves," the statement added.

"First Man" is directed by Chazelle from a script by Josh Singer, based on Hansen's book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong". The film stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and focuses on the the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

"First Man" had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday.

Gosling has also responded to the criticism, telling reporters when asked about the omission: "I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that's how we chose to view it. I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible."

Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82.