A four-year passion project for director Peter Jackson, this innovative documentary on the First World War establishes an immediacy and intimacy to the 1914-18 global conflict that cost 20 million lives. Archival black-and-white silent footage shot by British cameramen has been restored and colorized, with sound effects added and the oral histories of veterans used as narration. Emerging from the grainy, foggy images familiar from old newsreels are soldiers with ruddy-cheeked faces expressing a range of emotions, from patriotic pride to shell-shocked horror. Although not for the faint-of-heart, given the explicit sights of battlefield carnage, the film will offer older teens an unorthodox and engrossing history lesson and a powerful reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. Graphic archival footage of war violence, corpses and gore. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

 

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