The fallen of World War I, in living color.
As an audience, we've become so accustomed to seeing movies about World War II that we often forget the peril that crossed Europe during World War I. It wasn't a subject tackled in high budget, mainstream cinema until Wonder Woman made it the centerpiece of its plot that modern audiences confronted the war.
Part of the reason is that the conflict was so long ago, that there was little footage that existed. And what they found, was in poor shape.
Now, Peter Jackson, the man who took us to Middle Earth, Skull Island, and Modor, has a new documentary out that covers World War One.
They Shall Not Grow Old takes old reels of war footage and restores them through a complicated post-production process. This brings life and humanity back into the images and gives us a greater understanding of the first world conflict. Check out the trailer below.
Jackson and his team were granted access to the Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from BBC archives. They spent thousands of hours restoring footage and audio from the era. Through a multi-faceted process, we now can view the war in all its inhumanity: the death, destruction, and degradation on a grand scale.
Even more critical, the colorization of these reels provides a deeper understanding of the humans who fought in this war.
We can see rosy cheeks stained with blood, the sunken eyes of men stuck in horror, and an occasional smile of someone hoping it'll all be over soon.
To learn more about Jackson's process in restoring the archives, check out the behind the scenes documentary below.
It's been 100 years since the conflict ended, and this 99-minute movie will certainly deepen our understanding of the legacy left behind in such a battle. The film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on October 16 and is now rolling out in select theaters across the world.