Movie Review: They Shall Not Grow Old

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I found out Peter Jackson put out a World War I documentary where he combed through footage and colorized it. It turned out to be a lot more than that on the film front, where he took film that he thought was previously ruined (too dark, scratches, warped film, etc) and restored it digitally to bring a lot of footage that you don’t see on most documentaries (since those use the most easily available film for the most part).

I wasn’t sure what to expect, except knowing that there were some gruesome elements. Jackson really did a masterful job of creating what was an infantry soldier’s experience in the film, from original recruitment, to shipping overseas, to the line, it was all there.

This was really the first mechanized war, with artillery shooting overhead, machine guns, mines, tanks, planes, there was a lot for an infantryman to freak out about — and they did. No one had ever experienced these kinds of horrors before. And the governments of Europe callously put these young boys into these horrible situations where they were forced to live like animals to survive.

Beyond that, I have to just suggest watching the film yourself. You’re not going to get a war overview, or battle tactics, or an economic lesson, or any of the other dry stuff that you typically get from a documentary. This is pure soldier narrative, and the only voices in the film were actual soldiers from WWI.  It’s from their perspective and you really will get the experience of what that war was like, and it leaves a viewer with a lot to think about.

It’s one of if not Jackson’s best films. High recommendation and i have to say it was about a 9/10. Go see it while you can.

If you’re interested in how war gets really dark and effects people, The Fight For Rislandia is where Zaira really starts to feel the pinch and pain of death all around her. It’s better if you read the first couple of books first but you can dive right into action if you want and you’ll get the story no problem.

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