The movie to end all movies about the Great War

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It will soon be the centenary of the Armistice which ended the Great War, a Sunday on which we’ll be invited to reflect on the catastrophic slaughter of millions of men.

All of them, whether Entente or Central Powers, were fighting for their respective countries.

The whole Armistice syndrome is inevitably a bigger deal than usual this time, simply because an entire century (which included another world war and umpteen smaller ones) has since elapsed.

In the middle of all this depression, along comes a film – by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson.

‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ is reputedly an astonishing piece of work. Using state of the art computer technology it has taken those jerky old black and white films of scenes from the Front and improved them out of all recognition.

It isn’t just the expert colour-tinting, it’s the speed of the frames, along with the voices (supplied by actors) and sound effects.

What emerges is ‘real people’ – terrifyingly, just like us – pictured having a laugh, larking about, being normal.

The editing process has revealed expressions and emotions that have been literally hidden in plain sight for a century.

The fact was, says Mr Jackson, a lot of people found something in the Great War that was often lacking in their hard lives back home ... kindness.

Life in the trenches also involved reliable supplies of decent food, and medicine if needed.

People looked after each other at the Front, he says. They shared their provisions, and their worries – they looked out for each other.

Often those who survived to go home never found this “kindness” in their lives again - which is a sad and sobering thought.