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"They Shall Not Grow Old" - World War I Documentary

Herkamer63

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Definitely a movie I want to go see. If anyone hasn't heard about this one yet, as mentioned in the title, this is a documentary of WWI. The way that it's done, however, is the actual footage used during that time has been put into color and the sounds can be heard, giving both a much more cinematic and "in the middle of the event" feel. They may, briefly, talk about how this war was started, but it's mainly going to be about the soldiers that fought this terrible conflict. Many of us keep talking about WWII as if it was the ONLY World War that was fought. As bloody and brutal of a war as it was, we forget that the groundwork of this war was actually laid as a result of WWI. While WWII's top starter was Hitler taking over Europe and parts of the Soviet Union (at least Hitler's takeover is the most well known reason), WWI had multiple events and reasons that led up to it:

-Great Britain and Germany in a naval arms race
-Germany's win from the Franco-German war created a belief in supremacy of Prussian militarism
-The French wanting revenge against the Germans
-The results of the Balkan Wars
-Austrian archduke Franz Ferninand assassinated by Gavrilo Princip

It was a powder keg in Europe and parts of the Middle East and Russia that went off. It's even argued that this war could have been avoided, and one could even argue that if WWI didn't happen, Hitler probably wouldn't had risen to power. But this is a debate for another time. For now, getting to see what it was like in full color and sound of what these soldiers went through is proof enough of how brutal WWI really was. And since it is the 100th anniversary of the War To End All Wars, this documentary has sparked my interest for that period of time. There's also a family element to this for me.

My great-great grandpa fought for the Germans during that war, and won the Iron Cross (which is almost like the equivalent to the Medal Of Honor here in the US) for pulling back cannons from No Man's Land back into the German lines. However, after the war and he and his wife immigrated here to the US, there are 2 stories I got and I don't know which one is true. The first one was his wife was afraid that if the Americans found out that he fought for Germany there would be dire consequences. So she told him to throw that Iron Cross he had overboard the ship they were on into the ocean. The second story was that he never threw his Iron Cross into the ocean and instead held on to it. Based on what I heard recently from my family's, it sounds like he may have given it to either my great grandma or my grandpa. Whichever story is true, it is proven he did win that award and was a war hero. So yeah, admittedly, there's some something to be proud of in my family (even if he did fought for the wrong, but I think he realized that and came here instead).

Anyway, They Shall Not Grow Old comes out next month for most theaters. Check out the trailer. The movie itself is only, a little, over an hour and a half long. Peter Jackson made this, so it should be good. Hopefully, this sparks more interest in WWI history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrabKK9Bhds
 

Higgins86

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Its was excellent, thank you Peter Jackson and his team for the pain staking work of putting that together.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Intersting clip about how they made the movie.


It get you also thinking about the end of Blackadder.

 

Helix

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i want to see this. i am not a trained historian, but i also believe that WWI could have been prevented and led directly to WWII. however, i can't accurately speculate what might have happened if WWI had been avoided. it's sort of a Monkey's Paw scenario.
 

PoS

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i want to see this. i am not a trained historian, but i also believe that WWI could have been prevented and led directly to WWII. however, i can't accurately speculate what might have happened if WWI had been avoided. it's sort of a Monkey's Paw scenario.

WW1 was gonna happen no matter what, Franz Ferdinand's assassination was just an excuse. The old empires of Europe wanted to expand, and there was no room for them all in the world.

As far as this documentary goes, its okay, though somewhat limited only to the British experience.
 

Helix

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WW1 was gonna happen no matter what, Franz Ferdinand's assassination was just an excuse. The old empires of Europe wanted to expand, and there was no room for them all in the world.

As far as this documentary goes, its okay, though somewhat limited only to the British experience.

Definitely sounds interesting.
 
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