World War II film of Dunkirk evacuation is acclaimed by critics

Differet direction: Harry Styles, at left, makes an impressive acting debut in Christopher Nolan's impressive film Dunkirk, which looks at the 1940 evacuation from three aspects.
Differet direction: Harry Styles, at left, makes an impressive acting debut in Christopher Nolan's impressive film Dunkirk, which looks at the 1940 evacuation from three aspects.

In World War II the Dunkirk evacuation was one of the most critical junctures.

In May 1940, Germany advanced into France trapping 400,000 allied troops. Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France were surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between May 26 and June 4, 1940.

The British instituted Operation Dynamo, a plan to get them back to England. But as German planes attacked from the sky, survival for the soldiers and their rescuers seemed impossible.

Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessels that could be found.

Director Christopher Nolan tells the story of Dunkirk from the air, on the beach, and the sea. He says he was fascinated by what inspired civilians to take their vessels to sea, putting themselves in peril to help with the evacuation.  

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...a fascination within me for what inspired that in people. What was that situation that led to that greatness?

Christopher Nolan