“They Shall Not Grow Old,” documentary, July 26, 2020 (2018), DVD. Crafted by New Zealander, Peter Jackson, this non-narrative documentary relies entirely on film from WWI from the War Museum and other sources, magazine graphics for battle scenes, interviews with veterans done during the 1950s and 1960s, and amazing tech work on the film. It looks at the experience of British soldiers during the war. It also changes the film, smoothing and modernizing it, colorizing it, and, using lip readers and actors from the various regions that sent the soldiers, bringing voice to these films. It begins with the old hand-cranked black-and-white and transfroms, as if in a hellish Oz, as the troops arrive and head off to battle in France. It is both utterly gripping and real and disorientingly surreal. They recreate the sound of cannon, rifles, explosions, etc. by firing these weapons or weapons like them. The carnage is both appalling and matter-of-fact. The stoic sense of “it will happen if it happens” as they watch friends, comrades and enemies torn to bits is quite remarkable. There are no historians interpreting this experienc. It is theirs. But it would be wrong to say that there is no authorial point of view. Certain voices are left out, especially those of both resisters and those who came from this vowing never again. There is no resistance, no retrospective questioning of the inane decisions, and there is no cowardice. There is no anger. Similarly, while Jackson suggests their experiences were the same as other forces, that’s not entirely clear based on things I’ve read. Be that as it may, this was a remarkable piece of work, released on 11/11/18 (2018, that is) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice. If, like me, you see it on DVD, watch the attached special feature on the making of the film to find out how the voiceless gained a voice, the work of colorizing (it involves intellectual work by people, not just cgi), and how the noise of life became real.