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I wouldn't support putting Disaster Movie as a trope on the page for Dunkirk, but there's something to that idea. Nolan made a lot of good choices in the movie and I think never showing the Germans was one of the best. A lesser director would have made a three-hour film and probably would have had some scenes with German panzer commanders begging to be unleashed to wipe out the Dunkirk pocket while Hermann Goering says sure, the Luftwaffe can finish the British off.
I feel that not showing Germans almost had an effect of Jaws not showing the shark. So yeah, very well effective.
Yeah, all the German military politicking would have really ruined the suspense of the movie.
Just back from watching at the cinema now.
Honestly, that was by far my least favourite Nolan film. It looked and sounded great but the only time I was enjoying it was the "Air" segments, I didn't care at all about any of the characters other than the two pilots and the chronology of the film just confused me.
It wasn't a bad film by any stretch, just not one that really did much for me I suppose.
edited 28th Jul '17 6:55:04 AM by Marlfox24
On the other hand, a film completely about the politicking in the German high command during the Battle of France about would be quite interesting. It would certainly deconstruct the tropes of Germanic Efficiency and Facistbut Efficient, what with the OKW being divided on Manstein's gambit to bypass the Maginot Line by annexing the Low Countries, Rommel literally going off the map with an entire panzer division, and the BEF's arrival and initial counter-offensives briefly plunging the Germans into chaos.
A video analysis on sound of the film:
Yeah, sound is one of the most powerful elements of the film.
Does anyone remember playing the arcade flight simulator Blazing Angels back in 2006? I fondly remember the Wii version as the very first video game which I played a campaign straight through and through, and how I much of my juvenile knowledge of World War II aviation and history stemmed from the campaign.
I gave the game away several years ago, so I most regrettably can only look to You Tube to reflect back on not one, but two missions completely dedicated to Dunkirk. One thing that made the game so replayable in my eyes was how detailed the set pieces where, what with the evacuation ships putting up anti-aircraft fire and sinking individually when the German Heinkels hit them.
One of the missions is practically "The Air" turned into a video game.
The Eight Most British Things About Dunkirk, by Nate Jones.
Aye, someone update the Americans Hate Tingle entry on the tropes age regarding this backlash from people of South Asian descent.
New York Times: Dunkirk, the War and the Amnesia of the Empire
Well, the film folder already has a section about Western media and India, so I added something about WWII films in there.
"Aye, someone update the Americans Hate Tingle entry on the tropes age regarding this backlash from people of South Asian descent."
I'm still mad that there wasn't a single person named Steve in the movie.
edited 4th Aug '17 5:53:23 PM by jamespolk
Nobody ends up not getting cast in media for "not being marketable enough", constantly mocked with an annoying accent, or murdered for being mistaken for a terrorist because their name is Steve.
edited 4th Aug '17 6:04:04 PM by Tuckerscreator
There's also the very basic fact this isn't fiction. This is real life. These people actually fought and died for the British Empire and have all the right in the world to be unhappy their sacrifices is not depicted in a movie that should feature them.
Why should it feature them?
You're quite right, this isn't fiction. This is a movie about the Dunkirk evacuation. And of the 300,000 or so British troops on the beach only a tiny handful were from the empire. I think it's a pretty good tipoff that the article linked above hardly talks about the movie. It talks about how soldiers from the empire were coerced into service—true, but has fuck-all to do about Dunkirk. It talks about how the British suppressed Indian nationalist movemens—true, but has fuck-all to do about Dunkirk. It talks about the Bengali famine and how the British couldn't be bothered to feed the people—true! But it has fuck-all to do about Dunkirk.
Honestly, at least the other article on this topic linked to in this thread tried to justify its existence by mentioning the colonial troops that were actually at Dunkirk, even if they were only a tiny handful. But this article is a writer saying "I just saw Dunkirk, and the Bengali famine makes me mad, and I will link those two things together."
Because in historical stories, whoever is shown is seemingly displayed as "the people of the nation". But since Western media tends to leave out Indian participants over and over and over again, it can feel tantamount to being told "you don't belong with us". Off the top of my head, the only recent media I can think of involving Britain's history with India is the upcoming Victoria and Abdul. It's the national equivalent of being skipped over repeatedly on the playground when choosing sports or project teams.
Also, the "small handful" was 4 companies and up to 1000 men. It would've taken two seconds to show anyone. Heck, Nolan could've brought back Dileep Rao again and made him one of the characters. Like I said, wouldn't be much effort.
Essentially, the legitimate grievance that many South Asian audiences felt - which I also actually shared in spite of the fact that I don't share their ethnicity - is how the production clearly had Shown Their Work by including Arabs and Africans among the French troops, yet failed to also include Indians or possibly Nepalese Gurkhas (they were organized as part of "Indian" units) among the British - even though the only effort involved would be to simply hire a dozen or so Indians and dress them up in simple-to-reproduce period uniforms.
Case in point, the Indian extras who appear at 0:37 in this trailer for Wonder Woman.
4 companies and less than 1000 men. Out of at least 350,000 British and French. That's not a very strong argument for putting an Indian character in the movie. Verges on Black Vikings, frankly.
Again, this isn't really "Nolan should have put Indians in Dunkirk!" so much as it is "there should be more attention paid to the Indian war effort!". And there should be. Someone should make a movie called Imphal. Imagine what great dramatic material that could be, with both the Indian troops that fought for Britain and the Japanese-allied Indian troops that fought for Subhas Chandra Bose. That could be a great movie. But it wouldn't have anything to do with the Dunkirk evacuation.
I agree that there should be such a movie that allows for greater focus on their contribution. But I disagree with the claim that a demographic being small means there'd be no value to mentioning it. Even tiny rep can be enormous to some groups. For instance, my dad's side of my family is Dominican and grew up in New York City. Dominicans are just 3% of the city's population and many are unaware they exist.note This once led to an amusing encounter with a bully who couldn't think of any Dominican stereotypes to mock me with. But just a month ago, I saw Spider-Man Homecoming, and it includes a Dominican extra who gets helped across the street and buys Spidey a churro. It was a tiny scene that I'm sure a lot of viewers have already forgotten, but it brought back a lot to me about my dad's memories of growing up in NYC. A minimum effort in Dunkirk could've done the same for many viewers and their grandfathers. That 1000 of soldiers might now equal ten thousand of families.
edited 4th Aug '17 8:08:13 PM by Tuckerscreator
I think a lot of it is
1: Parts of the left hate WW 2. I don't mean they like the Nazi's. They hate the idea ofAmerica, and Great Britain fighting against an obviously evil foe. They wish the war had never happened. Not of the obvious reasons, but because it was inconvenient to their narrative. I mean peace, diplomacy, a crude version of multi literalism, pacifism, and socialism, and what it took to stop the Nazi's was brute military force, soldiers, and patriotic fervor. The fact that the British were not just under a rightwing government at the time, but one run by a romantic British Empire Nationalist, only furthers their angst.
At least FDR was the closest this country ever got to true socialism ,and Stalin was a Commie.
2: Okay quasi rant out of the way, this one is far more justifiable. They feel movies are not about accuracy, but rather advancing culture. They are trying to build a "multicultural Britain." And they want the public to "embrace diversity." The Public has problems with this because they feel like these newcomers are interlopers who will destroy their culture and not respect their history. But they want to show them that no, these people are a part of our history. This is a noble effort, though it can be excessive at times, which leads to backlash, and backlash to the backlash. And Backlash to that backlash and on and on.
Their's also a pretty famous joke about how their were no (word for Pakistani's I'm not sure your allowed to say here) at Dunkirk. Since some of the Indian companies were drawn from what would later become Pakistan one could say that, yes, their were (offensive word for Pakistani's) at Dunkirk.
People don't know about Dominicans? At my school, we know enough that when somebody talks about going to the DR, everyone knows it means Dominican Republic. If you think about it only important countries can be known by their initials.
Edit: I also wonder if it may be that the native countries have no interest in having these men represented. Most of the newly independent nations saw the men who fought for their Empires as mercenaries or poor kids looking for a meal at best, and traitors at worse. In the US by contrast the various groups lobby to get their people represented, that's why we have several movies about African Americans in WW 2, I'm pretty sure their's one about the Nesei regiment, and if their isn't at least they implied Mr Myagi was part of the unit. The various "white ethnics" treat it like the Americanization season finale, what with the whole, return to the old village by invading it cliche. Their's never been anything about the Latino or Arab contribution. Make of that what you will.
edited 4th Aug '17 8:35:35 PM by JackOLantern1337
Saw the movie, enjoyed it immensely but I can't really say I loved it. A big problem is that we kind of get lost with the number of characters, no one is really a central character. Tom Hardy's story as a fighter pilot is easily the most engaging part of the film, not just the inherent coolness of dogfighting but you get a real sense of beginning, middle and end, and he alone intersects with every other story being told. And lastly, he ends up the most heroic character of the film as he is fired upon more than anyone else and is eventually taken captive. The cinematography and visuals are spectacular, Nolan's greatest strength has always been that his visuals contribute to the story and are not just pretty.
As for the whole "Indian platoons were there too," the problem with the complaint is not that people don't have a right to desire more recognition, but that they are projecting their expectations of what the movie really should have been on to the filmmaker. Nolan had a particular story he wanted to tell, and it was not a story about the Indian platoons at Dunkirk. It's like if someone decided to write a romantic comedy and someone complains about the lack of gay representation in the film. It's taking a general issue and laying the blame on one film, which is simply unfair to the film.
I've never seen that sentiment around, at least, not currently among the left where "punch nazis" has become a meme. And I don't think it's a factor in this controversy because then one would be trying to diminish one's involvement in WWII, not call attention to it.
And on the DR, either awareness changes with the region or that bully was just ignorant.
Yeah, but that changes in context to a historical story. I think it's closer to how, say, A Beautiful Mind had no mention of John Nash's bisexuality, only his wife. It's easy to view it as just an insignificant detail when one is used to it being swept away again and again in history.
edited 4th Aug '17 10:25:14 PM by Tuckerscreator
As much as I love the movie, I'll have to agree with the author's point. 1,000 Indian logistics troops on the beach, many more in the Merchant Navy fleet. That's a lot more than the number of civilian volunteers on the Little Ships or the RAF pilots covering the evacuation, and the movie certainly could afford to paid tribute to the fact.
It's quite frustrating when the counter-jerk goes the other way around though. I think it was Viet Thanh Nguyen who wrote recently that demanding minority representation in "imperial militaries" is akin to condoning their use as pawns to oppress downtrodden nations worldwide, which is... ugh. Look, I don't particularly appreciate the French using their colonial troops to beat down the Vietnamese and massacre Algerians after the war either, but the fact that they did help defend Europe from the freaking Nazis is worth highlighting, don't you think?
edited 4th Aug '17 10:48:59 PM by eagleoftheninth
I wouldn't say "the Left hates World War II". I think the Left probably hates America and Britain always being the good guys. The writer of the piece linked above obviously hated Britain being the "good guys" and being portrayed positively in any way at all, which is why he chose to vent a bunch of words about the Bengali famine and Indian independence, stuff that honestly doesn't have a goddamn thing to do with Dunkirk or with Nolan's movie.
But the reason that there were no Indians in Nolan's movie is that, well, there were hardly any Indians at Dunkirk, and Indian troops did not play any significant role in the battle of France or the Dunkirk evacuation. They just didn't. If one wants to watch an acclaimed World War II movie and ask where the hell the Indians are, one could watch The Bridge on the River Kwai.
The Other Wiki's article on the Indian Army during World War II doesn't even mention Dunkirk or the battle of France, for the obvious reason that India wasn't there. Indian troops fought the Japanese, and some of them fought the Germans and Italians in North Africa.
The Desert Rats or Objective Burma! should have had Indians. Not Dunkirk.
Bridge on the River Kwai is good movie, but note that it was made 60 years ago and how many films about Britain and WWII have been made in between.
edited 4th Aug '17 11:09:57 PM by Tuckerscreator
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