Christopher Nolan’s new movie Dunkirk opened this weekend and is on target to become one of those iconic war movies, much like Saving Private Ryan did. Dunkirk is a gritty and heart-pounding movie that is vividly portrayed on the big screen with classic war themes of duty, trust, honor and the raw tragedy of war.
It’s a story of survival, depicted during the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force on the beaches of Dunkirk, France during World War II. Nolan tried to be as accurate as he could when recreating this moment in time, even spending $5 million on a German Leftwaffe airplane only to crash it. Movie critics and ratings give it 4/5 stars for the acting, cinematography and historical accuracy, but, according to one USA Today writer, there aren’t enough women or “people of color” in it.
USA Today’s Brian Truitt wrote a rather positive review of Dunkirk, but still left a little room to take issue with the movie’s lack of diversity, writing, “…the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.”
Yes, it may be true that a war movie about the rescue of the British Expeditionary Force during World War II isn’t diverse enough – but that’s history and you can’t change it to try and make it a “one size fits all” movie to accommodate everyone.
Unlike other war movies, Dunkirk doesn’t show the families and loved ones fraught with worry over these soldiers. Dunkirk isn’t a movie with fluff that would potentially give it the diversity some apparently crave. Instead, reviews show Nolan has made a movie about a historical event at a certain place and time.
Dunkirk was made with care in order to be historically accurate. If there were any deviation from anything – the location, the year, much less those actors who made up the British Expeditionary Force, it wouldn’t be historically accurate, would it?