Did you like the movie Dunkirk

Dunkirk - Film and Reality

When Christopher Nolan's film “Dunkirk” hit theaters in July 2017, I really wanted to see it. Out of historical interest alone, but also because I stopped here for one night on the #twoadtrip with Matze in late 2012. We actually wanted to stay in Bruges, Belgium, but on a wonderful Saturday during the Christmas holidays there was no affordable accommodation in the entire city. So we moved on to Dunkirk in France, just across the Belgian border. That's why I didn't see much of the city. Nevertheless, I have beautiful and fascinating memories of it. Precisely because I had also heard and read about the Battle of Dunkirk.

Dunkirk by Christopher Nolan (2017)

Nolan's film also shows relatively little of the city. Some short siege scenes, a little old town and mostly a lot of beach. Almost the entire British expeditionary force was encircled here in 1940. The British soldiers are to be evacuated in a dramatic rescue operation. Even small civilian ships are used and cross the 41 km English Channel to Dunkirk. At first it looked like hardly any Englishman would survive. But in the end, over 330,000 British soldiers were rescued from the encircled Dunkirk. Operation Dynamo was a moral success, even if Dunkirk fell to the Germans for the time being.

Nolan tells the film from three impressive perspectives. These, in turn, are told at different speeds - the story on the beach extends over a week, we accompany a boat on the English Channel for a day and in the air we accompany Royal Air Force pilots for an hour. But the timelines keep crossing. The film manages without a lot of dialogue and accompanied by the music written by Hans Zimmer you can experience dramas on a large and small scale. But it is only through the sound effects, which are often used extremely loudly, that the mood of the film develops. The sound design is the real storyteller. A very bloodless war epic and truly a masterpiece that Nolan created there.

“My” Dunkirk 2012

In 2012, however, Dunkirk looked like a small, dreamy fishing village to me. The harbor, which is still important today and offers a ferry service to Dover, was illuminated in blue in the evening. A beautiful picture - even if my iPhone 4S photos are really not beautiful. From the harbor I also had a good view of the old town. A good part of it has been preserved and on a short walk I passed the town hall (Hôtel de Ville), the St-Éloi church and the Dunkirk belfry. All impressive buildings with different architectural styles.

The town hall was built around the turn of the century in neo-Flemish style including a slender bell tower (“belfry”). It was badly damaged by a bomb in 1940, but was rebuilt true to the original after the end of World War II. The town hall is the central focus of the carnival every year. Not far from there is another belfry - the Dunkirk belfry, the symbol of the city. The tower was built as early as the 13th century and expanded into a bell tower for the adjoining St-Éloi church in the 15th century. Today the tourist information is located on the ground floor of the Gothic tower.

From the belfry one should have a beautiful view of the church and the city. The church is the largest Catholic church in the city - a late Gothic hall church from the 16th century with a beautiful neo-Gothic facade from the late 19th century. A sacristy of the Église St-Éloi is designed in the style of the Renaissance. Incidentally, the previous church still contained the now free-standing Belfry of Dunkirk.

But there is so much more to discover. It's time for a road trip again ... (especially with a better camera).