They Shall Not Grow Old: The Horror of War and the Magic of Cinema

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion | 12/25/2018 | Tyler Hummel
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They Shall Not Grow Old is a documentary collaboration between the acclaimed director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the British Imperial War Museum and consists entirely of restored World War I footage from the British trenches with exposition taken from hundreds of hours of recordings of actual war veterans talking about their experiences in the trenches. They Shall Not Grow Old is a rare technical achievement that applies the best of modern post-production.

The bookends to Jackson’s documentary are presented in the style of a classic zoetrope in smaller dimensions than the rest of the film. This is important because these two segments represent two vital themes presented of the Great War: naïveté and denial.

Soldiers - War - Beat - Impulsiveness - Idea

The young soldiers marching off to war to the beat of nationalist impulsiveness had no idea of the real world of hatred and violence that awaited them. For the soldiers that survived and returned home, their experience was that of a dream.

Nobody talked about the war. The experiences that defined the conflict were bottled up and ignored. It’s only in the middle does the film come into focus. Here, the full breadth of reality comes into focus in beautiful high definition color and sound. Here, we get to see the sights and sounds of the lives of young soldiers living on the front lines in the trenches of humanity’s most pointless and destructive war. Here, the gulf in our understanding of the Great War comes into focus.

November - Anniversary - Armistice - Day - Countries

November 11, 2018 is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, wherein the countries that fought the war agreed to end hostilities. It was a war whose consequences were not truly grappled with. The horrors that Europe inflicted upon itself and on all the men and women who were drawn into it were swiftly swept under the rug and...
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