Monday, 24 July 2017

Dunkirk


I’m not a patriot. The sight of British battalions finally being freed from the deadly beaches of Dunkirk does not fill me with the same fanatical vigor that has caused Land of Hope and Glory to flood the minds of so many as the credits finally begin to roll. It makes me sad, in some part, to by virtue of revoking any real national identity be forcefully excluded from these feelings: I wonder what it’s like to take pride in the industrious classics of Hollywood so confident in their statement that America is the premier nation for great film-making. I sit and pine at the sight of Englishmen and women so irrevocably moved by the struggle of their grandfathers on the bleak dunes of that windswept wasteland, peppered with the blood and bodies of the fallen and altogether soaked in the shared sentiment of absolute failure. I am, however, a human being. A moment in time as saturated with struggle as the escape from Dunkirk pulls me in far deeper than any flag riding inside me could. It touches something that transcends borders and brings us all hurtling through history towards this pivotal event horizon of victory and defeat- something that has assured the transfixed gazes of many millions as they stand there watching 400,000 men and the unconscionably brave forces that flew and sailed to save them. It is this magnitude of odds that makes Dunkirk weight so heavily upon me, because it has not only failed to touch my mind- but my heart too.