War is absolutely terrible, and very few films manage to even remotely capture the sheer horror that was World War II. Saving Private Ryan, the standard bearer for the genre, came out in 1998, almost 20 years ago. It’s been the icon since then. But in the new trailer for Dunkirk, it looks like there will be a new contender.
Dunkirk was written, directed, and co-produced by Christopher Nolan, the man behind, well, everything you’ve seen over the past decade. Everything from the Dark Knight trilogy, to Inception, to Interstellar, and all had a near-perfect mix of action and drama.
But Dunkirk isn’t the story of a comic book hero, or science fiction. It’s the story of a real event, the evacuation of the British Army from the French city of Dunkirk in World War II. In 1940, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers found themselves in France, and as the French Republic collapsed around them, they found themselves surrounded on three sides. The German Army, nearly unstoppable at that point and having already inflicted 68,000 British casualties, would have crushed them all.
The only choice the Allies had would be to escape across the sea, re-group, and come storming back on the beaches of Normandy four years later.
It was an absolutely heroic effort, relying in large part on civilians who used their own small boats.
Dunkirk comes out on July 21st, and it looks like it’s going to be excellent.