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War thriller "dunkirk": In the microcosm of Dunkirk - before the armed forces advanced

London The young British soldier Tommy flees through the streets of Dunkirk to the beach to the deafening noise of the rifle volleys. A gloomy scenario awaits him there: Hundreds of thousands of comrades hope to be rescued in the sand, practically unprotected from air raids by the German Wehrmacht. It only takes a few minutes and the audience is right in the middle of the war drama "Dunkirk", for star director Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight", "Interstellar"), along with Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Oscar winner Mark Rylance, numerous young actors and Has brought debutants in front of the camera.

The Battle of Dunkirk, which took place between May 26th and June 5th, 1940, holds a special place in British history. It is both a catastrophe and a miracle: 330,000 of 370,000 soldiers were rescued thanks to the active help of British civilians. With small fishing boats, yachts and excursion steamers, in bad weather conditions they took the trip across the English Channel to Dunkirk to bring the soldiers home before Hitler's Wehrmacht advanced.

“Dunkirk” shows the events of these crucial days from three perspectives. Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) waits in the country with the other soldiers to be evacuated. The RAF pilots Farrier (Tom Hardy) and Collins repel enemy air attacks in their Spitfire fighter jets. And Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) tries to save as many lives as possible on the water with his son Peter and young George.

Director Nolan dispenses with optical shock effects such as blood or body parts flying around. He also shows what is happening without commenting or politicizing. German soldiers are neither recognizable in the streets or in airplanes, nor are they even referred to as Germans. "The enemy" is only called at the beginning of the film. Nor are politicians to be seen - the film takes place exclusively in the microcosm of Dunkirk, in the radius and from the point of view of those affected.

This is not a war film, but a suspense thriller, stresses Nolan again and again. In fact, “Dunkirk” is primarily a film about a struggle for survival that lets viewers experience the hardships and nightmare of the protagonists up close. He hardly allows his audience a quiet minute or moments of relaxation. That is - in a positive sense - exhausting because it is authentic.

In addition, “Dunkirk” was filmed in IMAX format and on 70 millimeter film. The high-quality picture is extremely sharp and the screen is so large that the viewers in their seats have the feeling of being right in the middle of it. This creates even more closeness and not only delights movie buffs. In addition, Nolan avoided computer animation as much as possible. Instead, he let real fighter planes fly over the heads of his actors to make it look as real as possible for the cast.

In addition to the established stars, the young actors convince, in particular Fionn Whitehard as taciturn Tommy and Barry Keoghan, who in the role of kind-hearted George embarks on the dangerous rescue mission with Mr. Dawson. "One Direction" star Harry Styles can be seen in a supporting role. Singer Styles actually knows how to convince with his film debut, even if he is not asked too much as an actor. In general, the dialogues in "Dunkirk" are rather sparse. You hardly learn anything about the characters. But that doesn't bother. After all, there was no time for something like this in Dunkirk back then: everyone just wanted to leave.

Another star of the film is film composer Hans Zimmer, whose great soundtrack is sometimes reminiscent of the legendary Bernard Herrmann and whose music for Alfred Hitchcock's “Psycho”. To speak of musical accompaniment would be an injustice. Zimmer's score is more like a musical adaptation of the war and the emotional state of its protagonists. His soundtrack sounds like a ticking clock, like an enemy squadron and like a rain of bombs. He made a significant contribution to the threatening atmosphere of the film.

Christopher Nolan and his crew send the audience in "Dunkirk" on a true tour de force that is both grueling and entertaining. After his Batman trilogy and the science fiction dramas "Inception" and "Interstellar", Nolan has also succeeded in creating an epic and rousing piece of cinema with his first film about real events. It is quite possible that the director - after several Academy Award nominations - will hold an Oscar for “Dunkirk” in his hand at the ceremony next year.