The following contains spoilers for First man.
First man It claims to be a true story, but at least a moment in the movie probably was not true to life. James Hanson was the biographer of Neil Armstrong and the writer of the book. First man: The life of Neil A. Armstrong, on which Damian Chazelle's new film is based. The author has now confirmed that a key moment near the end of the film is completely invented. At the end of the film, once Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin reach the moon, we see that Armstrong, played by Ryan Gosling, leaves a bracelet that once belonged to his deceased daughter on the surface. It turns out that there is no evidence that it really happened. According to Hansen …
The truth is not that we know that the moment never happened. Instead, the truth is simply that we do not know. While James Hanson interviewed Neil Armstrong himself about his life for the book that would eventually become the movie. First man, What the personal items that Armstrong brought with him is apparently a matter of speculation. Hansen tells NBC that each astronaut brought with him a personal property kit (PPK) that contained personal items they wanted to bring to the moon, either for themselves or for others. While Armstrong apparently had one, the record of what was really there has been lost in history. The astronaut was going to dig into his own records to find him for his biographer at any given time, but Armstrong died in 2012 without doing so.
However, it turns out that there is a piece of information that gives some credibility to the scene as shown in First man. It seems that while the bracelet itself is not a historical reality, the time that Neil Armstrong spent alone in the Little West crater, the place where he released the bracelet, is known to have happened. Nobody knows why he went there or what he did, so maybe something like the events in First man it actually happened.
While it is possible that the moment has never happened, Neil Armstrong's biographer does not seem to mind that it has been included. He found that it was a powerful moment worthy of man and occasion.