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  • Writer's pictureWendy Sura Thomson

They Shall Not Grow Old

Peter Jackson(The Hobbitt) has made a movie made entirely of actual footage of WWI, both in Britain and on the Western Front. I saw it yesterday for two reasons: one was my grandfather was there, kilt and all; the other was to conduct research for my current WIP, The Man From Burntisland. They Shall Not Grow Old is an extremely sobering work. Mr. Jackson went to great lengths to make the film authentic, to the point of hiring forensic lip readers to understand what was being said by the filmed servicemen. He overlaid the footage with voices of WWI British veterans that were recorded for posterity in the 1960's. My biggest takeaway was just how horrific that war was. The carnage was unspeakably vicious.

At the end, the veterans were saying, to a one, that they did not cheer when the war was over. They did not hate the Germans they fought and killed or captured. They all just wanted to go back home - home to extreme unemployment.

Highly recommended. I gained such insight - can't wait to weave what I learned into my latest literary effort.

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