WWI documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old' is returning to theaters for 3 days only

Entertainment

VIDEO: They Shall Not Grow Old Trailer

If you missed out on seeing They Shall Not Grow Old in theaters last year, you'll finally have a chance to correct that horrible, awful, just terribly bad mistake that you made.

For three days this winter, the World War I documentary from Academy-Award winning director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean) will be back on the big screen in 800 theaters across the country on Dec. 7, 17 and 18.


The critically acclaimed documentary offers a fresh look at how warfare may change, but the day-to-day of military life and the brutal realities of ground combat remain the same. The film follows British soldiers assigned to the Western Front between 1914 and 1918.

As Task & Purpose previously reported,They Shall Not Grow Old seamlessly weaves a narrative over century-old war footage, making that war, and the soldiers who fought in it, immediately relatable:

After watching the film during a special Dec. 27 release, for the first time I felt close to the men who lived, fought, and died in the trenches more than 100 years ago. The downrange dangers they faced may have been different than those shouldered by veterans of recent wars, but the way the soldiers coped and suffered alongside one another, how they grappled with disillusionment and a sense of disconnect when they returned home, and how they by turns processed and were changed by the hardships they endured will be immediately recognizable to anyone who served overseas or under fire...

Though the visual elements are stunning, it's the storytelling that makes They Shall Not Grow Old stand out. The film is structured in such a way that you feel like you're following a single unit over the course of the war, and without realizing it, you begin to assign voices to the faces on the screen. Nowhere is this more noticeable or poignant than during a major offensive when the soldiers charge out across no man's land under a creeping barrage of artillery fire. As they close on the German lines, enemy machine guns open fire. The screen goes black and we hear our narrators describe the sound, the sight, and the sensation of rounds ripping into bodies — their own and their friends.

The camera jumps to close-ups of the men we saw earlier in the film, then abruptly transitions to dead and mangled bodies.

This blend of cinematic storytelling and documentary film-making has a profound effect: You spent the entire movie getting to know these characters, and now they're dying in front of you.

They Shall Not Grow Old was four years in the making and was pieced together using more than 600 hours of recorded interviews with veterans of the war, who serve as your narrators throughout the film. More than 100 hours of black and white silent footage, provided to Jackson by the Imperial War Museum, were painstakingly remastered and then colorized.

Additionally, forensic lip readers were brought in to watch the old footage to figure out what was being discussed, and professional voice actors from the appropriate regions across the United Kingdom were brought in to dub over the silent film.

Tickets for They Shall Not Grow Old can be purchased online through Fathom Events. (The film will also be available in 3D at select locations.)

On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.

As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.

Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.

"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."

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In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

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Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."

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Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".

In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"

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It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.

But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.

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