They Shall Not Grow Old – Official Trailer (2018)
They Shall Not Grow Old – Official Trailer (2018) Genre: Documentary, History, War Directed by Peter Jackson Produced by Peter Jackson, Tessa Ross Production companies: House Productions, Trustees of the Imperial War Museum (London), WingNut Films Distributors: Trafalgar Releasing, BBC One Release date: 16 October 2018 (UK)
A documentary about World War I with never-before-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war.
On 16 October 2018 Jackson’s film They Shall Not Grow Old was premiered as the Special Presentation at the BFI London Film Festival, attended by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The film was simultaneously screened in 2D and 3D at cinemas, schools and special venues across the UK. Attended by Jackson, the simulcast included a special post-screening Q&A with Jackson, hosted by film critic Mark Kermode. The film was created using original footage from Imperial War Museums‘ extensive archive, much of it previously unseen, alongside BBC and IWM interviews with servicemen who fought in the conflict. The footage has been colourised, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present detail never seen before.
The film was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC. Produced by WingNut Films and Executive Produced by House Productions. It was supported by the UK’s National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Jackson himself, whose own grandfather fought in the war and to whom the film is co-dedicated, said before the screening: “This is not a story of the First World War, it is not a historical story, it may not even be entirely accurate but it’s the memories of the men who fought – they’re just giving their impressions of what it was like to be a soldier.”
- To mark the centenary of the First World War‘s end, Peter Jackson has created a visually staggering thought experiment; an immersive deep-dive into what it was like for ordinary British soldiers on the western front. This he has done using state-of-the-art digital technology to restore flickery old black-and-white archive footage of the servicemen’s life in training and in the trenches. He has colourised it, sharpened it, put it in 3D and, as well as using diaries and letters for narrative voiceover, he has used lip-readers to help dub in what the men are actually saying.
- The effect is electrifying. The soldiers are returned to an eerie, hyperreal kind of life in front of our eyes, like ghosts or figures summoned up in a seance. The faces are unforgettable.
The title of the film is a misquotation from the opening line of the fourth stanza of the 1914 poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon, later used in the Ode of Remembrance. The actual line is “They shall grow not old…”