Film – Dunkirk

Film – Dunkirk

On another day, I may not have seen this film. Had that been the case I would have missed out on one the most evocative and essential films of recent times.

Following on from The Viceroys House which made me want to learn more about partition in India, this is another historical drama. But the two could not be more different.

Most of us know about Dunkirk. I’ve even been there and bought the postcard, but nothing prepared me for this intense ride. The power of the film comes from the soundtrack and the emotion is experienced more through facial expressions than dialogue; there is little of that.

Dunkirk is directed in such a way that the feelings of both despair and hope are inescapable.

Every character depicted is equally anxious, from the civilians on the many boats of various sizes going over from England to rescue complete strangers to the commander who is wondering how he is going to get 400,000 soldiers out of this warzone.

We follow soldiers as they get onto a ship only to see it blown up and they’re in the water. Then soldiers climb onto another vessel but to see that sink too. We are with them through every breath, each one proposing to be their last.

I felt I walked out of the cinema with a good idea of how these soldiers felt waiting at Dunkirk to come home, wondering if the next bomb that lands will prevent them from coming back alive.

We came out to the foyer where a military band was about to perform and they had a stand selling beautiful poppy items. The fact that all these people fought and died so we could live free lives was bought home once again, which a is a bit of comfort in today’s uncertain times.


NB The film quotes 400,000 and the history books says just over 300,000 were British or French, the only two nations depicted in the film. I’m thinking the rest were from allies or the commonwealth empire countries.




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