“Nothing much has changed for the Soldier in 100 years, he is still in the line of fire, putting his life on the line and then sent home if he is lucky to be alive and none of us really have any understanding of what has happened to their mind and body. Soldiers Stories honors Veterans and gives all of us a glimpse into their feelings and emotions of war. Yes, they all do sound young. Let us not forget, that war sends young men into battle. The film shows stunningly restored images of World War 1, those of you lucky enough to see it in 3D will feel the intensity of trench warfare. While reading diaries of World War 1 soldiers in the trenches, it became apparent to me, that those fears, courage and emotions are the same today as they were back then, 100 years ago. The hope for me with this film is not to discuss the pros and cons of war, but to honor and respect a Soldier who puts his life on the line, because his country asks him to go to war. If we can all understand a little better what War does to our fellow man, then please let us all be a little more patient and supportive to those Veterans who need a little help. May we all use War as a truly last resort, but let us also remember the great sacrifices made by millions of Soldiers over the years.
The Great War, World War 1, saw millions of Soldiers killed and wounded, in fact The Battle of the Somme alone saw more losses than the whole of World War 2. The war ended on November 11, at 11am so that we would all remember. Rememberance Day, Veterans Day, the end of the War goes by several names, but let us every year on 11-11-11 take a moment to remember what War does to families and countries and let us take a moment to salute and honor the Veterans who gave up their lives to serve their country”. – Producer, Nicholas Reed
November 11th marks the end of World War I and is a global holiday for those nations that participated. It has any names –Veterans Day, Amistice Day, Remembrance Day–but for many people it has become a holiday devoid of context. The War of Wars attempts to depict both the intensity and scale of the single greatest battle the world has ever known, the Battle of the Somme, which at its end claimed well over 1.5 million casualties.
The film recounts how the Battle of the Somme became the first industrial-scale battle in history: one which witnessed the first massive bombardment, first use of the tan, first use of the flame thrower, and the first time the tools of modern warfare were unleashed on a grand scale. This industrialization of war led not only to massive casualties but also to the larger, less understood and longer-term issues of physical and psychological trauma. The film is about more than a battle, it is an exploration of how the use of technology in war is created follow-on effects that moved well beyond the battlefield.
To give context to this almost unimaginably vast conflict. interviews are being conducted with present day veterans from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Germany so that living veterans can speak to the same issues as soldiers in the past. Veterans speak about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which was knows as “shell shock” almost 100 years earlier, post traumatic stress disorder which was often called “war nerves” and not at all well understood then, and the general day to day of what a soldier is really about.
The War of Wars is neither about the politics or strategy of World War I or that of present day conflicts. It is an exploration of the soldiers’ daily life, weaving the stories of WWI into the accounts of the present day. Within the film are more than 200 original 3D battlefield photos selected from private collections and long abandoned negatives that were taken from all sides –English, German, French– during the actual Battle of Somme in 1916 and which make witness to a very personal side of the war that has not been seen for nearly 100 years.