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They Shall Not Grow Old

Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings Trilogy fame creates a technically marvelous documentary by using 100-year-old footage from World War I and telling a story about what it was like for the soldiers who enlisted and went to the front lines. He does this in a very innovative way by colorizing the film (the scene where he switches to color is breathtaking), slowing it down to real-time, and overlaying stories told by WWI vets in the 1960s and 1970s. His team also incorporates many of the posters of the era and overlays moving footage, which creates a very unusual effect. He zooms in and captures the mixed emotions of the soldiers in a way that is difficult to detect otherwise. The film is presented in 3D (although I think you can see it in standard as well, I recommend the 3D version if you have it available). The result of the technical skills of him and his team is a film that tells a story that feels very personal and brings the war much closer to home. Huge thumbs up from me for a film that is a must for history (and World War 1) buffs. There is about a 30-minute post-credit piece during which Jackson walks us through some of what his team had to do to put the film together. It is a technically superior accomplishment.

About Gary Burkholder

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