The First World War has never received the attention it is due, with focus often being placed on the wars that followed it, despite being the most devastating war in history at the time it occurred. Peter Jackson’s documentary, a passion project to bring greater awareness to this part of our collective history at the centennial of the war’s end, is an outstanding documentary in its own right but it is Jackson’s ability to sift through hundreds of hours of material created during the last century and rework it and edit it to give the appearance of footage that was shot just yesterday, while preserving the intent of the original cameramen and interviewers, that we believe makes him a worthy recipient of the inaugural National Association of Film Critics Special Achievement Award. With a variety of techniques being used, including film restoration, lip reading, coloration, among others, Peter Jackson has transcended the limitations generally imposed on a documentarian by the nature of the footage available from World War I and made a war that is so distant to many of us, despite being one that was pivotal to the development of the entire world to the point it is at today that many of our families were involved in, more accessible and understandable in a way unlike any filmmaker before him.
About the Award:
This award may be given any year on a discretionary basis to any film or filmmaker that makes distinguished achievements in the furthering of the cinematic experience.