Not everything has been told about World War One. This documentary tries to explain the inexplicable: how tens of millions of men could have suffered the unbelievable toughness of life in trenches during 4 years, season after season, day after day, night after night? How could they have accepted the idea of a sure death or injury while they could not even tell the exact reason why they were fighting? What you are about to see can seem crazy: WW1 was maintained by a general consent. Written by
This meditation on the horror of WW1 uses an astounding variety of archival film, with added sound effects and color (not always) in ways that take you deeply into the mind of a French soldier, who narrates the events of the Great War. The English language version I viewed had world weary and poignant sounding English narrator. I've seen many WW1 documentaries including six hour series but I've never more deeply felt the futility and stupidity of the military leaders responsible for the carnage; though the narrator admits that the soldiers willingly marched off to their deaths. The archival film scenes always support the content of the narrator, and are sometimes cleverly viewed by crowds of soldiers at the time; with many scenes including soldiers operating vintage hand-crank film projectors; where the filmmakers found these films I have no idea, but they must have screened much of everything available in France - and there must be miles of WW1 film. If you are even mildly interested in the Great War & the 100th anniversary, this is a must see.
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