Introduced by Dr. Klaas de Zwaan
They Shall Not Grow Old
They can still be found all over Europe, even in the smallest villages: memorials with the names of those fallen in the First World War. The trench warfare of WWI has left a lasting mark on Europe — millions died. 11 November 2018 was the day of the centenary of the armistice, which de facto ended the war. Reason for director Peter Jackson to dive into the archives of the British Imperial War Museum, as a result producing this breathtaking, groundbreaking documentary.
The footage from WWI is black and white, jerky and silent, which makes it difficult to imagine how it must have been. Using the most modern techniques Jackson revitalizes history: we see colours and natural movements and hear soldiers with actual voices. What was life like at the front? What did the soldiers talk about? What were the war sounds like? Thanks to Jackson, we can now empathize with the madness of that war better than ever.
Dr. Klaas de Zwaan is a lecturer-researcher in media history in the Media, Art, Design and Architecture program at the VU. His research focuses mainly on the relationship between media and crises. How do media shape crises? How do they contribute to social awareness? For his research Projections of a Armageddon. The First World War in Dutch Cinemas (1914-1918), De Zwaan analyzed numerous war films shot during the First World War. In his brief introduction to They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018), he reflects on the continuing relevance of this film heritage.