As students view the film, ask them to pick out key scenes and explain their historical significance. For example, horse-drawn carts in one shot contrast with tanks and biplanes in other shots, illustrating how the war represented the intersection between traditional and modern combat. Other scenes of note: soldiers digging trenches and laying barbed wire, a blindfolded President Wilson picking draft numbers, prewar military parades, aircraft getting shot down, and women civilians and nurses receiving medals for their contributions. Seen through a veil of physical degradation, unstable chemical elements, and the bleeding of original film dye, this prismatic and cinematic "message in a bottle" from a century ago provides a powerful and unusual record of wartime past.
7 and up