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Dunkirk: The Story Behind the Story

July 19th, 2017
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Dunkirk: The Story Behind the Story

Opens July 21. Movie Times for Dunkirk Here.

The “Miracle of Dunkirk” was the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from France in early World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Belgian, British, and French troops were trapped between German forces and experts at the time predicted that only 45,000 would be saved. The operation began May 26, 1940 as Germans closed in on France.


Dunkirk was a horrendous display of the tragedies of war. The allied troops were like sitting ducks on the beaches of France as Germans dropped bombs upon bombs on the coast of France. In an article in Time Magazine that originally reported the incident in 1940 explained that “day and night the sea air was filled with screaming gulls and bats of death.” These tragic circumstances not only effected the soldiers, but also the citizens of Dunkirk, “as thousands of refugees fled for their lives to escape the fallout of battle.”


Approximately, 338,000 allied soldiers were rescued on small civilian ferries from the small seaport town of Dunkirk in just 8 days. The evacuation has been referred to as one of the greatest turning points in World War II as only 45,000 were expected to be saved.


Tragically, thousands and thousands of troops were left behind and taken prisoner by advancing Germans. In Winston Churchill’s famous speech, he explained that "this unprecedented German achievement constitutes simultaneously the greatest military defeat that any military forces ever suffered” -  the true paradox of war. The troops that were saved “would play a crucial role in future resistance of Nazi Germany” and became the spirit of battle in World War II.


Christopher Nolan, renowned director of The Dark Knight, brings this tragic story to the big screen with a powerful retelling of the horrors of war. Considered a psychological thriller, Dunkirk is a shattering spectacle of the chaotic evacuation of allied forces from France. There is supposedly no mention of Nazi forces in the movie as to express a holistic and universal portrayal of the horrors of war.


Dunkirk has been described by one of the best movies of the year, earning a whopping 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. You don’t want to miss this. Check out movie times for Dunkirk at Stars and Stripes Drive-In Movie Theatre here