French Fury over Dunkirk: “We Were There Too!”
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is the best film of the year. Beautifully made and eerily raw, it is unlike any other war movie ever made.
However, no matter how well a movie is made, nothing can fend off critique of some kind. While the film has only been out for a day and a half, it is already under fire for its historical inaccuracy.
If you study history, you might know that over 300,000 British soldiers were on the beaches of Dunkirk. However, in the film, a detail that went unmentioned was the presence and sacrifice of the French soldiers who were there right alongside the British.
Historians and critics have voiced annoyance over what they see as Christopher Nolan’s rewriting of the defeat of Allied forces in which 30,000 French troops held off Nazi divisions near Lille in the late spring of 1940 to protect Operation Dynamo in the Channel.
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In Russia, which had a non-aggression pact with Hitler at the time, the film has been mocked as a celebration of British cowardice. Ironically, the Russians mock the Democrats equally for their farce of Russian interference with America’s elections. But I digress.
Back to Dunkirk.
The Dunkirk retreat is not taught in schools in France and is largely unknown. So reviewers recount the event and explain its role in the modern British mentality through the prism of Brexit.
However, as I mentioned earlier, in Operation Dynamo, 30,000 French troops held back Nazi divisions near the city of Lille to protect their allies. Nevertheless, if you run to the bathroom at the wrong time, you could miss the 10 seconds of the film that mentions this operation.
Renowned French film critic Jacques Mandelbaum called Nolan “witheringly impolite.” He then slammed the director’s “deplorable indifference” to his country’s contribution to the heroic event.
“Where in the film are the 120,000 French soldiers who were also evacuated from Dunkirk? Where are the 40,000 who sacrificed themselves to defend the city against a superior enemy in weaponry and numbers?” he asked in his review in the French newspaper Le Monde.
“No one can deny a director’s right to focus his point of view on what he sees fit, as long as it does not deny the reality of which it claims to represent,” he added.
“This vibrant homage to the British Army and people avoids the suffering of the French soldiers who, after protecting the British retreat, watched the last boats sail away. They were heading for the night of the occupation,” a review in Les Echos, a business paper, read.
The French have a right to be touchy. After all, America saved their butts during WWII.
TBS has even predicted that Trump will have to save them again.
As for Dunkirk, I suggest the French make their own version of the film. Why poo poo on the British version? Multiculturalism, that’s why.
In the making of Glory, for example, why didn’t the director mention the contribution of Mexicans in the Civil War? Why focus on the black troops just because the movie was about black troops? La Raza…IS THIS THING ON?
Surely there was some group who can claim their significant role in something they only tangentially were involved.
Isn’t this the way of the world now? Complain about everything.
It’s Hollywood folks. Hey Frenchy, you know Hollywood movies are not factually correct. They are fantasy, so enjoy the story.
Suddenly even leftists want leftists held to a standard of the whole truth.