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Orin Kerr @OrinKerr
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I saw the WWI documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" today. Really enjoyed it. It tells the story of the typical British soldier on the western front in a remarkable way that really brings it to life. (Short thread.)
It's the visual restoration of the footage that draws you in. And indeed, it's remarkable. Brings the people to life. But it's really in aid of the telling of the story, not the focus.
The narrative consists of recordings of veterans of WWI, recorded in the 50s and 60s, telling the story of their wartime experience. They are heard, never seen, while the original footage is shown. There is no narrator, and no onscreen text to introduce themes or battles.
The vets tell their story of how they felt throughout the war. The excitement of the beginning; the fear; the exhaustion; the return to civilian life. It's all told through their voices, showing them (or their colleagues, more specifically) and hearing them.
I can't say the major outlines were new; I've seen a bunch of WW1 documentaries and read a few histories over the years, and the basic story is well known. But the combination of hearing and seeing it was immersive. As I said, really brings it to life.
Also, at least in these early screenings there's a 30 minute post-script afterwards of how they made the movie. It was fascinating, worth sticking around for. /end
P.S. Also interested in what serious historians like @atrupar have to say about, if they get a chance to watch it.
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