The Battle of Dunkirk: Movie Review

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Dunkirk, a movie released in 2017, is a film portraying the historical Battle of Dunkirk. This battle occurred in the year 1940 on a French beach. This beach was surrounded by Nazi Germans. This is evident as the movie shows flyers falling down from the sky that read “we surround you”. The Germans had control over the land, sea, and air which left the British and French troops trapped. The movie shows that although the British and French troops cannot escape and are trapped on this beach, they are not safe here either. The German’s are constantly dropping bombs on this beach. Due to this, there are bloody, dead bodies all over the beach. 

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The movie flip-flops between three different perspectives; The Mole, The Sea, and The Air. The movie shows how many troops are boarding boats to sail across the Channel and also show troops jumping off the boats trying to swim and get away. There are many bloody bodies floating back to shore and buried in the sand. The movie also portrays anger between the troops on the beach and the airforce. The animosity stems from the fact that the troops felt the air force did nothing to help them. 

The Battle of Dunkirk can be summarized as a battle to save British and French troops. Great Britain sailed back and forth the English Channel to Dunkirk in order to rescue the army that was stranded on the beaches. Great Britain braved the German bombs as they sailed back and forth multiple times through the Channel. What played a big part in the evacuation of Dunkirk was an architectural feature called a “mole”. The moles were used to help soldiers load onto the ships that were crossing the Channel and bringing them to safety. What was important about the Battle of Dunkirk is that many civilians helped to save the troops stranded on the beach. Civilians were using all types of devices to rescue people and bring them across the Channel. Many leisure and fishing boats were used as rescue resources during this battle. This is where a part of the battle Battle of Dunkirk received a nickname called the “little ships”. By the end of this battle, although many people did die, approximately 338,000 men were rescued through the boats on the English Channel.

 Overall, in terms of accuracy, the movie Dunkirk mirrors the battle in most aspects aside from some minute details. First, the movie did not accurately portray the number of troops that were made prisoners of war during their retreat. From the Dunkirk article from, it is stated that 1 in 7 allied soldiers were made prisoners of war. Second, many of the characters in the movie were not actual people during the war. The characters in the movie went through similar experiences, but they were not real people during the war. For example, the Royal Air Force Pilot in the movie was not directly based on a real person. 

The movie writers portray the pilot's experience to mimic the experience of Allen Christopher “Al” Deere. Third, the movie does not highlight many individuals who were key players in the rescue. The movie barely highlights individuals from other countries or individuals of color who were extremely important during the battle.  

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