Towards the beginning of World War II – in the summer of 1940, to be exact – 400,000 Allied troops were left stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk.
Staring death in the face, soldiers from Belgium, Canada, France, and the British Empire cobbled together as Axis forces closed in from all directions. By May 1940, Nazi Germany had invaded and subsequently seized control of France and Belgium, laying the groundwork for a devastating pincer attack on those troops marooned on the stretch of sand between Dunkirk and the Belgian town of Ostende. Such a predicament was labeled a “colossal military disaster” by the great Winston Churchill, and it was this disaster that prompted a Herculean rescue mission known as Operation Dynamo.
That mass evacuation, one that’s often referred to as the Miracle of Dunkirk, will light up the silver screen late next month thanks to Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic. It’s shaping up to be one of the must-see event movies of the summer, and today brings forth a suitably stirring new poster that thrusts Fionn Whitehead’s Tommy, a young British private, into the eye of a hurricane.
From the Spitfires tearing up the beach to hundreds of soldiers hitting the dirt in unison, Dunkirk looks set to boast the director’s signature sense of grandeur and spectacle, and it’s fair to say that Nolan’s latest (and potentially greatest?) effort demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. The filmmaker did utilize IMAX cameras as though they were GoPros, after all.
Dunkirk deploys into theaters on July 21st. It’ll herald Christopher Nolan’s first dalliance with historical drama, but the director has recruited a host of familiar faces for the ride: Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and, behind the scenes, Hoyte van Hoytema, the cinematographer who worked with Nolan on the mind-bending Interstellar.