They Shall Not Grow Old

"Peter Jackson has taken a mass of World War I archival clips from Britain's Imperial War Museum and fashioned it into a brisk, absorbing and moving experience." - New York Times

“A World War I documentary with colorized archival footage that
looks as new as the day it was shot. What sounds like an impossible
feat becomes a riveting reality in the hands of director Peter Jackson
and his New Zealand Weta crew of restoration miracle workers. In They
Shall Not Grow Old
Jackson uses a treasure trove of material — more
than 600 hours worth — from England’s Imperial War Museum to bring the
Great War to vivid life.
“Starting with the grainy, blurry, black-and-white newsreel clips that
we’ve come to accept as historical record, Jackson expands the screen
and then fills it to show off the visual wonders that are now within
reach in the digital age. You won’t believe your eyes. The battle
scenes emerge with a stirring urgency, along with the grim realities
of life in the lice-and-rat-infested trenches. Still, it’s the faces
of the British soldiers - some as young as 14 - that burn into your
memory. Rendered with a close-up proximity that captures the lively
humor and camaraderie of this band of brothers, these faces also
reveal the bone-weary fatigue that comes with living in daily
proximity to death.
“Jackson uses BBC interviews with surviving soldiers that were made
after the war while memories were still fresh. He lets the soldiers
speak for themselves as images flash by on screen. The usually stilted
film clips — shot at 13 frames per second — have been sped up to the
contemporary standard of 24 frames per second. And the result is
startling in its immediacy and intimacy. Technology has allowed
Jackson to erase the barriers of time and speak to a new generation
about what war does to youth. His humane and heartbreaking film is a
profound achievement.” - Rolling Stone


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