World War I ended a century ago, but filmmaker Peter Jackson is making sure people remember those who served in it with a renewed sense of appreciation.
While many history classes and documentary films have given viewers a welcome opportunity to see the lives of World War I soldiers, it has in the past primarily been in grainy black-and-white footage, or through staged dramatic interpretations. With Jackson's documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, his first movie release in four years, he has restored archival footage from sources like the BBC and Imperial War Museums not only in color but in clear high definition so they appear to have been shot only recently.
"We have transformed 100 year old film footage to see The Great War as the soldiers themselves saw it," Jackson announced in the trailer.
The film has been co-commissioned by 14-18 Now, a project that creates both visual and performing arts commissions to help people remember and connect with the World War I, and those who served in and/or were affected by it.
According to the film's official synopsis, Jackson was "driven by a personal interest in the First World War" a set out to show the day-to-day experience of its soldiers:
"Using the voices of the men involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line, their attitudes to the conflict; how they ate; slept and formed friendships, as well what their lives were like away from the trenches during their periods of downtime."
On Oct. 16, U.K. audiences at the BFI London Film Festival will have the privilege of being first to see Jackson's documentary They Shall Not Grow Old along with a special question and answer session with Jackson. The film will later be released throughout Europe in both 2D and 3D formats, but currently no dates are planned for a North American release. However, it will be broadcast on Armistice Day (Nov. 11) on BBC One, so there's a chance it will make its way to theaters or televisions in the United States in the near future.
Until then, here's Jackson himself sharing a little more about how this project came to be, and how he made it possible: