Watch They Shall Not Grow Old
- 1 hr 39 min
They Shall Not Grow Old is a powerful and deeply moving documentary film that explores the experiences of British soldiers during World War I, using a combination of groundbreaking digital technology and vintage footage. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson, the film takes viewers on a journey back in time to the trenches of the Western Front, where British soldiers fought and died in some of the most brutal and horrific battles in history. Using advanced digital restoration techniques, Jackson has brought this footage to life in stunning detail, colorizing old black and white images and using 3D technology to create a breathtakingly immersive experience.
The film begins by introducing us to the soldiers themselves, using audio recordings of interviews conducted with veterans in the 1960s and 1970s. We hear their stories of enlisting, of marching off to war, of the camaraderie and boredom of life in the trenches, and of the horrors of combat.
As the film progresses, we are plunged into the midst of the action, witnessing the chaos and confusion of battle as never before. The sound design is particularly effective here, with the roar of gunfire and explosions all around us, and the screams of wounded soldiers filling our ears.
Despite the horrors depicted on screen, there are moments of humor and humanity that shine through. We see soldiers joking around and playing pranks on one another, sharing cigarettes and tea, and even engaging in impromptu soccer matches in the midst of the warzone. These glimpses of everyday life serve as a reminder that these soldiers were not just names and numbers, but real people with hopes and dreams and fears like any of us.
One of the most remarkable aspects of They Shall Not Grow Old is the way it brings a sense of immediacy and intimacy to the subject matter. Jackson and his team have painstakingly restored and colorized footage that was shot over 100 years ago, and the effect is astonishing. We see the soldiers' faces in vivid detail, their expressions revealing their emotions in ways that would be impossible with grainy black and white footage. We also get a sense of the physical environment, from the mud and squalor of the trenches to the intricate web of communications and supplies that kept the war machine running.
Another key element of the film is its focus on the human toll of war. We see soldiers wounded and dying, the toll of their injuries etched on their faces. We hear firsthand accounts of the longtime physical and psychological effects of combat, including incidents of PTSD and other mental health struggles. The film makes clear that while soldiers may have been able to survive the immediate dangers of the battlefield, the long-term toll of their experiences was just as devastating.
They Shall Not Grow Old is a remarkable achievement, both as a work of technical wizardry and as a moving exploration of the human cost of war. Jackson has succeeded in bringing history to life in a way that is both illuminating and affecting, reminding us of the sacrifices made by these brave soldiers, and the ongoing impact of their experiences on our world today. Highly recommended for anyone interested in history, war, or the human condition.
They Shall Not Grow Old is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.2 and a MetaScore of 91.