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They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

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They Shall Not Grow Old
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TitleThey Shall Not Grow Old
Year2018
CountryNew Zealand, United Kingdom
GenreDocumentary (Movies)
Run Time1h 39 min
Director

The film was co-commissioned by 14–18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC, who approached Jackson in 2015 for the project. According to Jackson, to make the film, the crew of They Shall Not Grow Old reviewed 600 hours of interviews from the BBC and the IWM and 100 hours of original film footage from the IWM. The interviews came from 200 veterans, with the audio from 120 of them being used in the film. After receiving the footage, Jackson decided that the film would not feature traditional narration and that it would instead only feature audio excerpts of the soldiers talking about their war memories, in order to make the film about the soldiers themselves; for the same reason, it barely features any dates or named locations.

Jackson stated: “We made a decision not to identify the soldiers as the film happened. There were so many of them that names would be popping up on the screen every time a voice appeared. In a way it became an anonymous and agnostic film. We also edited out any references to dates and places, because I didn’t want the movie to be about this day here or that day there. There’s hundreds of books about all that stuff. I wanted the film to be a human experience and be agnostic in that way. … I didn’t want individual stories about individuals. I wanted it to be what it ended up being: 120 men telling a single story. Which is: what was it like to be a British soldier on the western front?”

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Date of download: 2015-11-11T17:22:34+00:00

They Shall Not Grow Old
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The film was co-commissioned by 14–18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC, who approached Jackson in 2015 for the project. According to Jackson, to make the film, the crew of They Shall Not Grow Old reviewed 600 hours of interviews from the BBC and the IWM and 100 hours of original film footage from the IWM. The interviews came from 200 veterans, with the audio from 120 of them being used in the film. After receiving the footage, Jackson decided that the film would not feature traditional narration and that it would instead only feature audio excerpts of the soldiers talking about their war memories, in order to make the film about the soldiers themselves; for the same reason, it barely features any dates or named locations.

Jackson stated: “We made a decision not to identify the soldiers as the film happened. There were so many of them that names would be popping up on the screen every time a voice appeared. In a way it became an anonymous and agnostic film. We also edited out any references to dates and places, because I didn’t want the movie to be about this day here or that day there. There’s hundreds of books about all that stuff. I wanted the film to be a human experience and be agnostic in that way. … I didn’t want individual stories about individuals. I wanted it to be what it ended up being: 120 men telling a single story. Which is: what was it like to be a British soldier on the western front?”

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