Saturday, 29 July 2017

Film Dunkirk illustrates the futility of war and problemmatic nature of survival

The film Dunkirk provides a gripping expose of the reality of war. The futile loss of life and the problematic nature of survival is all laid bare. Dunkirk also offers a masterclass in suspense, never knowing what is coming next as you live every moment with those struggling to escape the beach.

There is relief as a group of soldiers appear to have survived on a ship, only to have that joy immediately torn away as a torpedo rips into the vessel, transforming in an instance the scene from one of celebration into that of a watery grave. The only way in which the suspense is tempered is when you realise that one of the film’s stars is not going to be killed in the first few minutes.

There is no glorification of war in this epic. Whilst the gory nature of war, with dismembered bodies is not part of the scene, the whole wasteful nature of conflict is well illustrated. Courage too is paramount, among sailors, fighter pilots and those who set off in the small boats from Britain to rescue the troops on the beach

Dunkirk should do much to open the eyes of some who glory in war. Those (usually male) who celebrate war and weaponry, often from a safe distance. The sight of someone being torn apart by a landmine or some such other weapon is not a pleasant sight to see.

War is the ultimate failure of the human condition, a failure to resolve differences without resorting to killing one another, not something to celebrate but remember in the hope that it will not recur again. Dunkirk contributes much to the process of active remembering.   

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