I CAN’T GET OVER IT.
Honestly. It’s so beautiful and poignant and gripping and just- *makes unintelligible fangirl noises* Plus, it’s done super well, because it looks just like a clip or something from a real movie, which is AWESOME. I had no idea this ad even existed until Naomi wrote a post about the Christmas Truce of 1914, and included the ad in the post (go read the post, people – it’s great). And now I find myself crying buckets of tears over a TV advertisement, of all things. (Even after watching it one hundred and one times, I find that it still has the power to move me – as evidenced by the waterfall coming down my face when I re-watched it today in prep for this post.)
Of course, anything about WWI or WWII is practically guaranteed to make me emotional – even a cold, hard, no-nonsense list of statistics. For instance, there were over seventeen million people (civilian and military) killed during WWI. At first, that just seems like a big number, but when you really start to think about it…each person in that statistic was a REAL person who had a life and probably a family and feelings and dreams and thoughts, and now they’re dead. Who knows what those seventeen million people could have gone on to do had they lived? It’s so, so heartbreaking.
And then throw Christmas into the mix and, yep, I’m an emotional mess.
Though this ad is only three and a half minutes long, by the time it’s over, I always feel as drawn into the story as I do with a feature-length movie – it’s that good. Otto’s and Jim’s fleeting moments of friendship make me smile and cry, sometimes both at the same time, and I just hope THEY DON’T END UP SHOOTING EACH OTHER. That would be the very height of awfulness. (And you know something else that’s awful? Apparently, after the real Christmas Truce, the generals on both sides were really angry that it had taken place, so there was never another Christmas Truce. Never. And that makes me really sad.)
I thought I’d list a few (just a few) things I love about this ad.
- EVERYTHING. (Of course.)
- Jim has a girl waiting for him back home, and I think that’s lovely. And she sends him chocolate!
- Otto is adorable. (So is Jim.) And I loooove the blending of all the different British accents + the switching back and forth between English and German during the singing of ‘Silent Night’.
- Those first few seconds of Jim emerging from the trench are SO suspenseful.
- Through the whole thing, I like seeing the Brit + German commanders’ response to everything. It’s neat.
- AW THEY’RE PLAYING FOOTBALL AND LAUGHING AND GETTING THEIR PICTURES TAKEN AND IT’S ALL SO BEAUTIFUL. (Also, that guy getting a haircut always makes me smile.)
- I’m sure the music is what contributes to all the feels, because not only is it gorgeous in its own right, it comes from an extremely emotional moment in True Grit, when Rooster’s trying to save Mattie’s life. *snifffff*
- That moment when the war intrudes on the Truce crushes me. Every time.
- THE HANDSHAKE. They need to be friends. I’m going to say that Jim and Otto both survived the war and afterwards they ended up meeting at some point (maybe when they were both really old) and they became great friends. Because I’m usually all about the tragedy, but these precious boys NEED to live.
- And Jim re-gifted the chocolate! I LOVE YOU, JIM. (And Otto, too. In fact, I’m not sure who I like better.)
- “Christmas is for sharing.” The End.
UGGGGGH. It’s so bittersweet.
Have you seen this ad? I want someone to share these feelings with…