#CBC: “‘It suddenly feels very, very close:’ colourized archival film shines new light on Vimy Ridge soldiers – Entertainment”

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A National Film Board project is shining new light on the everyday lives of Canadian soldiers during the First World War by incorporating freshly colourized archival footage filmed ahead of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. 

Return to Vimy, the NFB short created in partnership with the Vimy Foundation, weaves together newly colourized footage with original animated sequences to tell the fictional story of a young Canadian woman who visits the Vimy Memorial to pay tribute to her great-grandfather, who was lost in battle.

Return to Vimy

The movie weaves together newly colourized footage with original animated sequences. (NFB)

The nine-minute short marks the first time the Canadian agency has colourized its archival material for a film.

“I was immediately drawn to the project,” director Denis McCready told CBC News.

Seeing the black-and-white footage transformed into colour “completely changed my perception of what was going on in the scene,” said McCready, who was approached to create the film as he was completing another NFB work about Canada’s military history.

Return to Vimy

The colourization process brought to life details McCready said he hadn’t noticed earlier. (NFB)

Not only did the colourization process bring to life details he hadn’t noticed earlier, it also made the 100-year-old footage feel more resonant, McCready said.

“It transforms the image aesthetically and creates something more striking, but it also — I think — changes your perception of time. It suddenly feels very, very close to us.”

Return to Vimy

The Canadian soldiers in the archival NFB footage ‘were trying to look their best for the people of Canada.’ (NFB)

The archival footage, colourized in France, explores the daily lives of soldiers in the Canadian Corps as they prepared for the landmark battle at Vimy — surprisingly revealing young men who were upbeat and eager to present a smiling face to those back home.

“There is a candour to their attitude towards the camera that was extremely refreshing… They were trying to look their best for the people of Canada.”

Watch Return to Vimy below or by visiting the National Film Board website.

Return to Vimy, Denis McCready,provided by the National Film Board.

Note: “Previously Published on: 11 November 2017 | 10:00 am, as ”It suddenly feels very, very close:’ colourized archival film shines new light on Vimy Ridge soldiers – Entertainment’ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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