They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old – Peter Jackson brings to life the people who can best tell the story of World War I: the men who were there, employing state-of-the-art technology to transform audio and moving image archive footage more than a century old.


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They Shall Not Grow Old

Driven by a personal interest in the conflict, Jackson sets out to explore the day-to-day experience of its combatants. Immersed for months in the BBC and Imperial War Museum archives, Jackson created narratives and strategies regarding how this story should be told. Using only the voices of those involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line: their attitudes to the conflict, how they ate, rested and formed friendships in those moments between battles, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. Each frame of the film has been hand-colourised by Jackson’s team, the footage 3D-digitised, transformed with modern post-production techniques, enabling these soldiers to walk and talk among us.

Reaching into the mists of time, Jackson aims to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of these veterans that survived and were able to tell their stories, and detail the humility and humanity of those who represented a generation forever changed by the destruction of a global war.

Peter Jackson’s remarkable First World War documentary, begins with a group of soldiers marching down a road. As the men walk past the camera they are unsure what to do. They have probably never been filmed before. Some remain awkwardly rigid, as was the style when having a still photograph taken. Others smile. The sound of celluloid film being projected whirs in the background. The footage is in black and white.

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