Posts Tagged ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’


By Paul Goldfinger.

One hundred years ago, the Great War  (WWI) ended.  That “war to end all wars” was a horrible event, but reading history can’t compare to seeing movies of the carnage that took the lives of millions.

Amazingly, Peter Jackson, a film maker from New Zealand, acquired very old footage obtained in black and white–a new technology of that time.  Camera men went to the battlefields and recorded fascinating documentation of the soldiers and the conditions in which they fought.  It was largely an artillery battle, but soldiers, who lived in trenches, would periodically go “over the top”and get mowed down in the most brutal ways.

Jackson also used interviews of surviving WWI soldiers obtained in the 1940’s. These eyewitness accounts add the extra dimension  of  hearing these veterans tell what happened.  History students of this era will not be able to take their eyes off the screen.

Peter Jackson was able to restore the prints digitally  to very high quality and then later he colorized the results.   He used a team of extraordinary technicians who made this happen.  Finally he added a soundtrack.

The movie should not be missed, although it is full of  scenes that are hard to stomach.

It is unlike anything we have seen before, and it brings life to that time in history.  It is a bit like Ken Burns doc. on the Civil War, except he had to use still photographs.  This is more comparable to Burns’ doc. on the Vietnam War.

This film is a technological triumph, so if you are a movie buff, the result is sufficient reason to go. 

Peter Jackson introduces his documentary to the movie audience as if he were giving a talk to the Rotary. Then, after the film ends, he spends 30 minutes explaining how he made this amazing film.

It is in selected theaters now.

THE BAND OF THE ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS   ( We’ll Keep the Home Fires Burning.”)


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