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French Media Accuses Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ of Historical Inaccuracy

The English-American director receives flack for under-emphasizing the role of the French military

Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews for Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” one nationality is not satisfied with the World War II saga: the French.

On Wednesday, both Huffington Post France and the French publication, Le Monde, criticized the film for historical inaccuracy.

“Dunkirk” tells the story of how Allied troops escaped entrapment by enemy forces in France during the Battle of Dunkirk of World War II.

However, some French critics are saying that Nolan seriously underplayed one important historical fact: the role of the French military in helping Allied forces to evacuate Dunkirk. French historian, Dominique Lormier, points out to HuffPost France (translated into English from French) “the sacrifice of 30,000 French soldiers who prevented the total surrender of the British troops, who were already having trouble defending their territory.” In its review of the film, Le Monde asked the question, “Where in the film are the 120,000 French soldiers who were also evacuated from Dunkirk?”

According to Lormier, Nolan’s perceived snub of France’s military contributions represents the tendency of Anglo-Saxon media “to prioritize British military accomplishments while remaining silent on those of the French.”

Though “Dunkirk” didn’t impress French critics or historians, it’s a hit with French Twitter.

Here are some of their reactions:

“I just saw #Dunkirk and WOW. Intense, disturbing and moving. It’ll blow you away, you’ll see EVERYTHING! Bravo to Nolan and to the cast.”

Christopher Nolan is definitively a genius! Dunkirk, what an incredible cinematic experience!”

“Dunkirk, what a film! Christopher Nolan is a giant. Hans Zimmer also!”

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