Peter Jackson’s New Documentary Shows World War I As You’ve Never Seen It Before

Entertainment

For the first time in a century, World War I can be seen, and heard, the way it was for those who waged it.


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) digitally remastered a trove of silent black and white footage from the war, bringing it to life with color and sound in the new documentary They Shall Not Grow Old.

The four-year project was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in partnership with the BBC, which provided Jackson with 600 hours of footage to produce the film. The 90-minute documentary captures the realities of war on the Western Front, from combat, to life in the trenches, and those brief moments of respite during the soldiers' downtime.

Related: See 6 Incredible World War II Photos In Color »

“I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world, so they can regain their humanity once more–rather than be seen only as Charlie Chaplin-type figures in the vintage archive film," Jackson, who was drawn to the topic due to his grandfather's service in World War I, said in an interview with the United Kingdom's iNews.

The documentary features commentary from 120 World War I veterans pulled from recordings of BBC interviews conducted in 1964, and moments of dialogue captured on film were recreated using professional lip readers, and narrated by professional actors.

"They Shall Not Grow Old" took four years to create and was pulled together from 600 hours of silent black and white footage.

In the trailer we see and hear artillery firing into the distance, first-generation tanks rumble over trenches, as cavalry races along shallow riverbeds. In the next moment, British soldiers laugh, smoke, and grin at the camera — some with ash and mud still on their faces.

The newly colorized footage, while visually stunning, is only half the allure of the film — the real draw is in the soldiers themselves.

“There's been lots of documentaries made on the First World War … and I just decided for this one to strictly just use the voices of the guys that fought there," Jackson told iNews.

“It's not the story of the war. It's the story of the human experience of fighting in the war."

They Shall Not Grow Old makes its debut at the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 16, and is scheduled to run on BBC on Nov. 11.

DON'T MISS: 'For Heavens Sake Stop It': How A WWI Army Officer Stopped Friendly Fire From Hitting His Men

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Oh, honey, that Axis of Evil getup is so 2002. You need to get with the times and try on this little number called a Wolf Pack of Rogue States, designed by Mike Pence.

Yes, the Axis is Evil is out, and the Wolf Pack of Rogue States is so, so in.

The vice president mentioned the latest and greatest phrase to describe anti-American super-villain states during a conference in Washington on Wednesday, and clearly, they must all be running around the desert together looking for strippers and cocaine.

The Hangover! Alan's wolfpack speech in Vegas hahaha www.youtube.com

Enter Pence:

"Beyond our global competitors, the United States faces a wolf pack of rogue states. No shared ideology or objective unites our competitors and adversaries except this one: They seek to overturn the international order that the United States has upheld for more that half a century."

According to Pence, the Wolf Pack includes Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Notably absent: China and Russia, the two states that actually have a shot at seeking "to overturn the international order."

As Daniel Larison notes at The American Conservative, the Wolf Pack crowd's "ability to 'overturn the international order' is practically nil, and it isn't even certain that most of them desire that outcome. If North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are our main adversaries, we are as secure as can be and we have very little to worry about."

Pence's wolf pack phrase follows another tried by National Security Advisor John Bolton back in November, when he labeled Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as a "troika of tyranny" and a "triangle of terror," which make for interesting death metal band names, but seem kind of lame in comparison to the infamous 2002 "Axis of Evil" phrase from David Frum.

But perhaps they can consult with Stitch Jones, the Ayatollah of Rock-and-rolla, for some better branding.

Heartbreak Ridge - Stitch Jones meets Gunnery Sergeant Highway www.youtube.com


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Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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