Perhaps you were in the audiences yesterday for the first U.S. showings of They Shall Not Grow Old.  If not, this writer will humbly recommend it to you, if for no other reason than to see it for the rarely seen film footage of World War I, the voices of British soldiers looking back on their experiences in the war, and for the technical work that went into the film.

And by all means, don’t leave the theater at the end of the film.  As soon as the credits have rolled, director Peter Jackson will speak for 30 minutes about the process of making the film.

They Shall Not Grow Old appears as a Fathom event at theaters on December 27th.  The good news is that it will have a wider release in the new year.  On January 11 it will open in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.  On February 1 it opens in the top 25 markets.  I hope that includes Kansas City.  What isn’t clear is if the wider release will include the comments by Jackson, which are well worth hearing.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.