2 hours 12 minutes | Rated RP16 (Graphic content may disturb)
A documentary about World War I with never-before-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war
On the centenary of the end of First World War, Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) presents the World Premiere of an extraordinary new work showing the Great War as you have never seen it.
This unique film brings into high definition the human face of the First World War as part of a special London Film Festival presentation alongside a live Q&A with director Peter Jackson hosted by Mark Kermode.
Using state of the art technology to restore original archival footage which is more than a 100-years old, Jackson brings to life the people who can best tell this story: the men who were there. Driven by a personal interest in the First World War, Jackson set out to bring to life the day-to-day experience of its soldiers. After months immersed in the BBC and Imperial War Museums’ archives, narratives and strategies on how to tell this story began to emerge for Jackson. Using the voices of the men involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line; their attitudes to the conflict; how they ate; slept and formed friendships, as well what their lives were like away from the trenches during their periods of downtime.
Jackson and his team have used cutting-edge techniques to make the images of a hundred years ago appear as if they were shot yesterday. The transformation from black and white footage to colourised footage can be seen throughout the film revealing never before seen details. Reaching into the mists of time, Jackson aims to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of the veterans, the humility and humanity that represented a generation changed forever by a global war.
“It is an encounter with the past that feels exhilaratingly present-tense.” – Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph (UK)
“You might have thought there was nothing new to say about the First World War but Peter Jackson’s astonishing and revelatory new feature documentary comes at the subject in a way no previous film, book or play has ever done.” – Geoffery Macnab, Independent (UK)
“Jackson’s film is more than a technical tribute: it’s a testament to the bravery and camaraderie of the soldiers, the memory of which has faded like the photographs he brings back to life.” – Fionnuala Halligan, Screen international.