They Shall Not Grow Old - Review Column By Avery Meyer
They Shall Not Grow Old is a film directed by Peter Jackson and produced by Peter Jackson and Clare Olssen. In this film documentary Peter Jackson takes footage from the first World War and refines it for our viewing. Much of this footage is unseen straight from the Imperial War Museum.
They Shall Not Grow Old is a masterpiece not only in its technical wonder, but also by its superb storytelling. The filmmakers take a seemingly impossible task of reviving footage from one hundred years ago and updating it for a modern audience. This movie does a fantastic job of showing the plight of the average British soldier during the great war.
It also shows the course of the war and the brutality and overall futility of it. The level of care the technical team of this film took to recolor and texture the old war footage is phenomenal. I can think of other media that took footage from the past and refined it, but not in this way, and certainly not in this fashion for an entire movie.
Stereo-D Stables is responsible for the editing in this film and is based out of New Zealand. This same team has done some of the technical work for game of thrones, lord of the rings, and Avatar. The team were able to accomplish most of their feats by taking a modicum of world war one memorabilia and paraphernalia that would then be cross referenced with real historical footage.
The crew reviewed over 600 hours of interviews from 200 veterans recorded in the 60’s and 100 hours of original film footage to make the film. Jackson even went to Belgium to make sure he got the right shade of grass for the film. It covers everything that a British soldier during the first world war would have went through, from their breakfast to their daily routines.
This film was going to receive a limited release which means that you have a limited time to see it, however since the film has done so well in theatres, the film has seen a full release. The film has also sat at an impressive 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.If you are at all interested in this period of time, this movie serves as a must see.