Peter Jackson and crew have managed to tell the story using the voices of real veterans recorded before they too stopped growing old. There is real truth in their voices, and their observations from many years later are sometimes startling, especially if you’ve never given the subject much time before. And even if you have, just hearing their story, in their voice, while watching the restored and enhanced footage around it is very memorable and incisive. I was drawn in by the lure of seeing the movement and faces of these kids turned cannon fodder in real time, in the real battlefields.
You do gasp when the screen turns to color. These men come to life. Even 100-years ago, people still turn and say ‘hello Mum’. But they are there rotten teeth and all. Toilet travails and brothel education stood out for me.