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Dunkirk: A journey into the past

Claire Leanard, Staff Writer

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Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk depicts a complex view of what it was really like on those days back in 1940. Historically, Dunkirk was the evacuation of Allied soldiers during WWII from the beaches of Dunkirk between May 26 and June 4, 1940. Heroically, British citizens from across the English Channel took out their boats in order to sail over and evacuate the remaining soldiers. Nolan has a way of creating this space where viewers feel as if they looked down they would see the sand that held those soldiers. The film starts out with a few soldiers walking the streets just outside of the beach when shots are fired, setting the intense tone. Following this, the film takes viewers to three separate events detailing how it was in different locations: on land, on the sea, and in the air.

The events that take place on land follow a young soldier named Tommy as he travels back to the beach after he was ambushed in the streets. In his first moments back, we meet a strange silent soldier that becomes a quick companion to Tommy. They make their way trying to find a place to “call home” for the time being as they wait. Eventually they end up on a medic boat to be taken out to another, bigger ship. The audience is kept on edge as everything that could possibly prevent them from escaping happens.

One of the other threads in this big web of tales has the viewers in the sky as they travel with pilots Farrier and Collins. They are donned with the task of fighting off the German jets in the sky. The problem though is that they are running out of fuel and only have a small time frame to eliminate the enemy. Along with the sky, there is the sea where views are introduced to a father and son joined by a friend. They venture out to travel across the Channel to transport the remaining soldiers.

The two hours viewers are in the theatre watching this dramatic film will give them an experience of a lifetime. It is an out-of-this-world picture that will transport viewers in time to give a sense of how it was.

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Dunkirk: A journey into the past