They Shall Not Grow Old

World War II always seems to steal the spotlight away from World War I. WWII is simpler, sexier, and more interesting to more people for some reason. Maybe it’s easier to dumb down? Well, there is Hitler, Nazis, The Axis Powers, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. WWII takes up more space in text books and Hollywood has produced more films about WWII than WWI. But blockbuster director Peter Jackson has shined a spotlight back on the first World War with his latest (documentary) film, which uses many of the innovative filmmaking techniques used in his previous fiction films to edit, restore, colorize, add sound and voice to original WWI footage (that’s now over one hundred years old!). The film succeeds in humanizing British soldiers, allowing the viewer an intimate experience into what it was like for the average infantryman on the Western Front. It’s a visual and audio accomplishment and should be a compulsory watch in every middle/high school history class whenever there is a substitute teacher present. Still, you can’t help but laugh a little at how Peter Jackson divided that short-ass Hobbit book into three separate long-and-drawn-out movies, but WWI (that lasted four whole years) is just this one measly documentary.