G. W. Pabst brought the war movie into a new era with his first sound film, a mercilessly realistic depiction of the nightmare that scarred a generation, in the director’s native Germany and beyond. Digging into the trenches with four infantrymen stationed in France in the final months of World War I, Pabst illustrates the harrowing ordeals of battle with unprecedented naturalism, as the men are worn away in body and spirit by firefights, shelling, and the disillusion that greets them on the home front. Long unavailable, the newly restored Westfront 1918 is a visceral, sobering antiwar statement that is as urgent today as when it was made.
- Hour-long French television broadcast of World War I veterans reacting to the film in 1969
- 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak
- New restoration demonstration featuring Martin Koerber and Julia Wallmüller of the Deutsche Kinemathek
- An essay by author and critic Luc Sante