Award-winning Liberty University Graduate Shows WWI Through a Fresh Lens

Liberty University graduate Becky Barker (second from left) on set with the actors of her WWI short film, ‘We are the Dead.’

For recent Liberty University graduate Becky Barker, it wasn’t enough to trudge through World War I trenches deep in the pages of history books — she was so captivated by the stories that she brought them to life on film in the forests surrounding Lynchburg.

“I fell in love with this area of history because of the many untold stories I discovered,” she said. “World War I is not as thoroughly studied as the wars that came later. This is mostly because although it was a war of previously unheard of catastrophic size, World War II eclipsed it only 20 years later. WWI also fascinated me because, unlike WWII, the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides of the conflict are not nearly so black and white.”

As a student in Liberty’s Department of History, Barker took advantage of the university’s cross-disciplinary program and added a minor in cinematic arts. When she discovered that she loved filmmaking, she added a cinematic arts major, and that’s when she embarked on a project to bring the First World War to life. Her short film, “We are the Dead,” focuses on a young soldier who must overcome fear before his first battlefield attack and an almost certain death.

“The point of the story is that although the Great War is often thought of in terms of the millions lost, every one of those numbers had a name, a family, hopes, fears, and dreams,” Barker said. “My goal was to take the First World War and distill it down to a micro level, a personal level, and show the humanity in what is often characterized as an inhuman war.”

Barker’s dedication to uncovering history’s forgotten stories led to…

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