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They Shall Not Grow Old

The new movie by film director Peter Jackson is an outstanding look at the soldier experience during WWI as we have never seen it before. If you've seen some of the old film footage of WWI, you know how hard it is to understand what the human experience was really like -- soundless, cracking black & white film where you see people but cannot quite make out their faces.


In this new film, the soldiers truly come to life and at last we can understand clearly that these men were just like us. We see how fun and witty they were, as well as hear and see how they managed -- or didn't manage -- through war.


Jackson and his team took four years to create this masterpiece. All narration is taken from countless hours of oral histories from WWI soldiers during the 1970's. Thank goodness these oral histories were taken! They are incredibly valuable to our understanding of that period in our history


Techniques used by Jackson's team to make this film come to life included:

  • Restoration of black & white film to sharpen, change speed and splice film segments

  • Colorization

  • Forensic lip readers to determine what the men in the film were actually saying

  • Foley artists to create all the sounds to match what we see in the background

  • Piecing appropriate oral recordings to the visual story we see unfold.

See the trailer: They Shall Not Grow Old, then go see the film. The theater I saw it in also showed a 30 minute post-film interview with Peter Jackson where he explained much more about the making of the film.

WWI Cemetery, Belgium

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