Ross Peterson, Utah State University history professor emeritus, has been out to area schools talking about the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and World War I Film Festival he is championing.
The film festival will be held at the Utah Theatre, 18 West Center, during the first week of November. All movies will begin at 7 p.m. and admission is $5. Introductions to each movie will be made by a USU professor.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Armistice, Peterson said. “One of the reasons I enjoyed teaching about WWI was the Armistice,” he explained. “Peace after 51 months of war, it was great. It is amazing teaching about it.”
He said we learn that we need to be patient and realistic in our hopes and dreams. You can’t force people with different ideals how to do things a specific way or expect them to share your ideas.
Everyone has different religions, political ideas and traditions and we must have patience and be respectful of their views.
There will be six films shown on different nights.
The first one scheduled is All Quiet on the Western Front. It will be shown on Thursday, Nov. 1st and is a 1930 film about a young soldier facing the disillusionment and horrors of war. It won two Oscars.
The second movie is Sergeant York, to be shown on Friday, Nov. 2nd, about a Tennessee man who recently converted to Christianity. He finds himself torn between his non-violent beliefs and his desire to serve his country when recruited to fight in World War I.
On Monday, Nov. 5th, the African Queen, a 1951 film about a religious spinster whose missionary brother was killed in WWI in Africa, gets a dissolute steamer captain to offer her safe passage. She persuades him to destroy a German gunboat. The two spend most of their time fighting with each other rather than the Germans. Time alone on the river leads to love.
Tuesday, Nov. 6th will be Paths of Glory. Set during World War I, this 1957 film focuses on a commanding officer, General Broulard, who orders his subordinate, General Mireau, to attack a German trench position, offering a promotion as an incentive. Though the mission is foolhardy to the point of suicide, Mireau commands his own subordinate, Colonel Dax, to plan the attack. When it ends in disaster, General Mireau demands the court-martial of three random soldiers in order to save face.
Wednesday, Nov. 7th will be Gallipoli, a 1981 film about Archy and two young Australian sprinters who want to join the army to fulfill their sense of duty. Turned down because they are too young, the pair hop a freight train to Perth, where they are allowed to join up. They board a troop ship headed to Cairo and, after training in the shadows of the Great Pyramids, the boys are finally sent to the front line where their speed makes them candidates for messengers in one of the war’s bloodiest battles.
War Horse is scheduled to play on Nov. 8th. The 2011 movie is about young Albert, who enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s journey takes him out of England and to the front lines of a raging war.