Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Dunkirk, is critically acclaimed for its unique and inventive take on the war genre. While most war films focus on the soldiers themselves and their growth as people, Dunkirk plays out more like a simulation, putting viewers right on the beach alongside the over 410,000 men waiting to evacuated — 80,000 of whom didn’t make it off.
For Ken Sturdy, screening the hyperrealistic film wasn’t the first time he visited the French city of Dunkirk. The Calgary veteran was just 20 years old when he assisted in evacuating Allied forces from the hellish beach, which saw a constant barrage from the Nazis over the course of an 11 day rescue.
His tearful thoughts on the film are a reminder of the sheer evil humanity is capable of, but also the unfathomable courage of the men who fought there.