Sir Peter Jackson’s new documentary/movie about World War One came out earlier this month. It’s phenomenal. The scenes range from the funny to the heart-warming to the poignant. Particularly moving are the clips that show walking wounded British soldiers who have been blinded by German poison gas, or the efforts of medics to evacuate their wounded comrades from the no-mans-land and then trenches. Jackson has even included moments when soldiers charge from their trenches toward the enemy, and death.

“I gave every part of my youth to do a job,” you can hear one British soldiers saying, “but there was a job to be done. And you just got on and did it.”

Jackson didn’t cast any actors nor explore any countries for filming spots. Rather, he used original photo and movie footage from WWI. The Imperial War Museum gave him permission to scavenge through its film archives (more than 100 hours of film) for relevant footage.

“Their brief to me was really I could do anything I wanted,” said the famous director. “So long I used their footage in a — you know — some sort of a fresh way. That was their only brief. And I didn’t happen to have a clue. I said, ‘what the hell am I to do?’”