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Post Peter Jackson's "They Shall Not Grow Old"
Created by John Eipper on 02/10/19 6:58 AM

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Peter Jackson's "They Shall Not Grow Old" (Edward Jajko, USA, 02/10/19 6:58 am)

Yesterday my wife and I saw the film They Shall Not Grow Old, a stunning, disquieting experience. This documentary by Peter Jackson is made up of films from the Imperial War Museum that have been cleaned up, colorized, and given a 3-D effect. There is some appropriate music but the sound track is made up of excerpts from statements on BBC by British WWI veterans, among them several holders of the VC. Lip readers and actors were employed to determine and say what soldiers who were filmed were saying.

In one particularly impressive example of historical sleuthing, there is a film clip of a colonel reading from a written statement to his troops before the First Battle of the Somme. Because of the angle at which he is filmed standing, the lip readers could make out only a few words. But amazingly, those few words and the identification of the regiment led to a search in the regimental archive and discovery of the actual speech, which was then read by an actor.

JE comments:  I must see this film.  Thank you, Ed, for the recommendation.  What could one possibly say to young boys about to walk into the slaughter of the Somme?  I guess I'll find out.

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  • Peter Jackson's "They Shall Not Grow Old" (Brian Blodgett, USA 02/12/19 3:56 AM)

    I went and saw They Shall Not Grow Old after reading Ed Jajko's posting on the film. I was very impressed by the film and believe it is a great representation of what the Great War must have been like, and as the producer said, not only for the British but for anyone who fought in it.

    What interested me as much as the movie was the steps that the producer, Sir Peter Jackson of the Lord of the Rings fame, took to ensure authenticity of as much as he could, from the sounds, the voices, even the color of the terrain. After the main movie ends and the credits are done, Jackson spends 30 minutes discussing the work took to make the film; which was amazing to hear and see.

    They use of British WWI veterans who were recorded in the 1960s or so and inserting their thoughts on the war into the movie was superb. I highly recommend it.  As Jackson stated, the movie was made for everyone to gain a better understanding of what the common soldier went though, unlike others that focus on the strategic view.

    JE comments:  Deo (Mars?) volente, I'll see the film this afternoon.

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