[October 20, 2018] Technology continues to progress in all areas of life but one that I will highlight today is in the video industry. Peter Jackson, from “Lord of the Rings” fame, has applied his talents to bring to life old, silent film footage of World War I. Recently released, he put his genius to use in an amazing restoration of old video; called, They Shall Not Grow Old (2018).
This project is more than a mere restoration of old footage. Mr. Jackson interviewed with Mark Kermode, from BBC, to talk about the innovative technological work they did but also the humanity of it also. This work puts the humanity back into war and in particular focuses on the troops (mostly British) in new, creative but respectful ways. See link to interview here.
Watching the new video gives us a better idea what it was like in the trenches, what soldiers did and how they helped each others, and the conditions under which they served. Peter Jackson correctly tells us that there is this tendency to look at those serving in WWI as somehow victims but that is not how they saw themselves.
Those who served would tell you that their experiences took them beyond their childhoods and their stay-behind friends and propelled them into something bigger and more rewarding. For the first time, many had to rely on complete strangers for survival. This reliance leads to a comradeship that only those who have lived and survived a great traumatic event would understand.
“It is remarkable how many smiles there are and how many at the very beginning of the montage [of the video].” – Mark Kermode, BBC
Many of these British soldiers could not wait to get to the front where the action was to be a part of a great machine that would end a great evil. I’m sure this revitalized video will be another step to an understanding of war and what it means to those of us who can never be there.
If you get a chance to see it; do so. It’s a must see!