HASTINGS, Neb., April 4, 2019 – On the 100th anniversary of the end of First World War, Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) presented the world premiere of an extraordinary new work showing WWI as people had never seen it. That new film, They Shall Not Grow Old (R), opens today, at the Hastings Museum.

“This film is getting nearly perfect reviews from critics and audiences,” said Becky Matticks, director of the Hastings Museum.

“Reviews that good got our attention, and the more we researched the film, the more we knew we needed to give Nebraskans a chance to see it on a super screen.” she said.

Using state of the art technology to restore original archival footage which is more than a 100-years old, Jackson brought to life the people who could best tell this story: the men who were there. Driven by a personal interest in the WWI, he set out to bring to life the day-to-day experience of its soldiers. After months immersed in the BBC and Imperial War Museums’ archives, narratives and strategies on how to tell this story began to emerge. Using the voices of the men involved, the film explores the reality of war on the front line; their attitudes to the conflict; how they ate, slept, and formed friendships; as well as what their lives were like away from the trenches during their periods of downtime.

Jackson and his team used cutting-edge techniques to make the images of a hundred years ago appear as if they were shot yesterday. The transformation from black and white footage to colorized footage can be seen throughout the film revealing never before seen details. Jackson aimed to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of the veterans, and better understand the humility and humanity that represented a generation changed forever by a global war.

“There are so many veterans in our area,” Matticks said. “We knew this film would be of interest to them and their families.” She added that the Museum can arrange private bookings for this film. If schools, businesses, or organizations are interested in private booking, contact the Museum at 402-461-2399.