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They Shall Not Grow Old review: Century-old, long-dead faces pop to life in Peter Jackson's remarkable documentary

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They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old

This Sunday marks the centenary of Armistice Day, and in this remarkable documentary, Peter Jackson has applied his heavy bag of cinematic tricks to archive footage.

It all starts ordinarily enough, as the spoken recollections of veterans accompany images of raw recruits training for battle. Once the footage gets to Belgium and France, it explodes eerily into colour, making century-old, long-dead faces pop to life.

Lip-readers have been used to add a soundtrack to the footage, so that we get to hear that unlucky generation utter cheery banalities on their way to the charnel houses of Ypres and the Somme.

 

12A, 99 mins

Irish Independent