They Shall not Grow OldPeter Jackson
Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) magically brings a wealth of archival images about WWI to life. Through digital techniques (and a lot of manual work) the film images were colored and we literally see the war as we have never seen it before. A story about deprivation and senseless massacres, but also about the daily life and camaraderie in the trenches.
When none other than Peter Jackson makes a documentary about WWI, expectations are high. When the press - despite those sky-high expectations - throws superlatives at it, that says a lot. Peter Jackson has delivered a magisterial film. 600 hours of footage from the BBC archive was carefully picked up and polished: noise and scratches were removed and the speed adjusted. After that, countless images were colored. The result is amazing and is miles away from the familiar jerky black and white images. And yet the power of this documentary does not lie solely in technical ingenuity. Jackson made the conscious choice not to give history lessons: there is no explanatory voice-over and interviews with historians are lacking. He lets the people who fought speak, literally, by giving testimonies from the 60s and by giving the soldiers a voice. He hired forensic lip readers who analyzed the silent film images and found out what was being said. 100 years ago has never before come this close.
Directed by Peter Jackson
2018 99 min.
WingNut Films WingNut Films, House Productions