The documentary imagery of war is staggering. About 20 minutes in, when the film changes from black and white to color (coincident with our arrival at the front lines), the images become incomprehensible. “This cannot be real,” one thinks. “This must be a reenactment.” But the images are real, and the “handsome, ruddy, square-shouldered young men”—in the words of historian Charles Carrington—one sees marching through the muck are actual human beings. Their names may be forgotten, but their faces are as familiar as any one might see on the street today.
Read the rest of Finnegan Schick's City Journal review of Peter Jackson's WWI documentary.