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They Shall Not Grow Old


Year: 2018 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Peter Jackson 
Starring: -  
An image from They Shall Not Grow Old

Known for pushing the boundaries of computer-generated entertainment with his Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson now turns to the real lives of soldiers from the First World War. Fascinated with this period due to his grandfather’s experiences, Jackson has again created something truly breath-taking…

In this project commissioned for the Armistice Centenary, unrestricted access was granted to the Imperial War Museum archives, as well as the BBC Film and Television Library. Claiming to have spent a year reviewing over 600 hours of material and over 100 hours of footage, Jackson waived all fees for this labour of love. Allowed to do anything he liked as long as it was “respectful” and “interesting” - he certainly achieved this!

Footage from the WWI era has different frame rates in its film so Jackson created interstitial frames to remove that ‘jumping’ effect that we’re so familiar with. Forensic lip-reading, voice actors and the latest technology transform silent black-and-white into sound and glorious technicolour. Whoever said that cinema was a time machine was never more right!

Jackson chose not to use narrators or historians; instead he drew on the voices of veterans themselves. Even in the trenches, surrounded by the horrors of war, there was still laughter and much camaraderie. This is not a diatribe against war, but life as the soldiers saw it, and in their own words.

Natalie Tyldesley-Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

2018/2019 Spring Term (digital)