Found grandfather in the new movie


Peter Jackson is the man behind the films from Tolkien’s book, “The Lord of the Rings”. With his new documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old”, he has again completed a project in the forefront of what is possible in the film industry today.

This time his project is WWI

On behalf of the BBC and The Imperial War Museum in England, Peter Jackson has restored and colored archive recordings of 100-year-old short films from the First World War. In addition, he has restored the soundtracks from several archived interviews with British WWI veterans in the 1960s and 1970s.

The result has become a fantastic film that describes the soldiers’ daily lives in the trenches, their attitudes to the war on the front lines, but also how they slept, ate and shaped friendship. We also see how their lives were like when they were on leave, away from the trenches.

We have downloaded the following from the film’s review: “The transition from black and white recording to coloured footage can be seen throughout the film, revealing details that have never been seen before.” The film received a brilliant reception at the London Film Festival this month.

Had a personal agenda

Peter Jackson admits that he had a personal reason to immerse himself in this project.

He knew very little about his own grandfather, William Jackson, as he did not have any letters or diaries from him. So to be able to listen to the soldiers’ daily conversations, see their routines, what they ate … such guys are not really so different, they say pretty much the same in different ways, Jackson said in an interview with Radio New Zealand. “I felt I had an understanding of what William had to go through. I am sure he had somehow experienced everything in the film.”

Recognised the nose

It was not just Peter Jackson who gained knowledge of his grandfather. The Times tells us that in England, a woman sat at home in the living room and saw Jackson’s movies when she was suddenly startled!

She rewound the recordings and paused to double check, a moment later she got a text from her brother, yes it was him!

Jenny Patemans grandfather, Thomas Frayne, died of his war injuries when she was 8 years old. She just remembered him as a sick, bed-ridden man, but she recognized him now.

It was the nose, she says. Many in her family have a special shaped nose and there was no doubt among the siblings that they had seen their grandfather again, alive and as a young man!