They Shall Not Grow Old brings into high-definition the human face of the First World War. Using state-of-the-art technology to transform the original archival footage that dates back more than 100 years, this unique film brings to life the people who can best tell the story of the war: the men who lived through it and fought it.
Exactly 100 years after the end of the first world war Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson presents the world premiere of They Shall Not Grow Old – an extraordinary film showing the Great War as you have never seen it before.
My family and I have just returned home from the world premiere of this historical and poignant event. The film was broadcast live to over 200 cinemas nationwide after which, director, Peter Jackson took part in a live question and answer session with renowned film critic Mark Kermode.
The film lived up to all expectations. It is a compelling and gripping piece that has left me feeling quite emotional. As you might expect, the viewer is of course subjected to the horrors of the First World War. However, one of the things that I found particularly moving was the humour in the film. Seldom have I seen documentaries or dramatisations that’s show how the men dealt with the day today exposure of what can only be described as utter carnage.
Furthermore, my emotions were accelerated by the fact that I was sitting next to my two teenage Sons. Both of which would have no doubt being drafted or indeed volunteered to fight for King and Country. The viewer is drawn towards the smiles and innocence of the young men that went to France, many of whom (close to 1 million in fact) would never return home.
I have no doubt that as I continue to reflect, I will recall more of this film. One thing is clear: it is an important film that should be watched by as many people as possible and in my opinion, should become part of the national curriculum.