Demise at Dunkirk


When Germany invaded France they trapped 400,000 soldiers (mostly British) that retreated to the beaches at Dunkirk. The film’s director, Christopher Nolan, used Imax cameras and CGI to show us on the big screen just how spectacular that would look from the air. The massive army stood like sitting ducks on piers and open beaches, awaiting the navy for transportation home.

Once picked up by the navy, some of those ships were torpedoed by German U-boats or bombed by the Luftwaffe. The British Air force dispatched Spitfires in an attempt to stop the German attacks, but Dunkirk’s remote location taxed their fuel supplies and the time they could spend in the area.

This movie makes you wonder which branch of the armed forces was the best way to go. We see how hundreds of foot soldiers can be wiped out like ants on an open sidewalk, by thousands of strafing bullets. Sailors, and soldiers who thought they were lucky enough to be rescued, were blown up and sent to the bottom of the ocean. Even the few pilots who tried to protect the ships and beaches, had to contend with vicious dogfights and concerns over fuel.

Although this movie is told through the eyes of the British, you see some of the resentment of the French as they stay to defend their country, and their allies run for home. The surrounding and retreat of the allies left me in awe of the size and might of the German forces. One would think that 400,000 men would be able to wreak some havoc.

The film is about the rescue from Dunkirk, and how a civilian regatta of fishing and pleasure craft carried out the amazing feat of helping the navy to evacuate 330,000 allied soldiers so that they might live to fight another day.

The story was good, but it left me wondering about the retreat itself, and what happened to the allied armored divisions. The musical score by Hans Zimmer was eerie, and almost irritating at times, but it drew out emotions of fear and sorrow that were hard to ignore.

Although the movie was good and well done, I left it feeling it was missing something. I saw it solo and give it an 8 out of 10.

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