Dear Editor: Mr. Mulderig’s review of “Dunkirk,” in the July 29 issue of The Tablet, was off the mark, “Dunkirk” failed to educate the audience.
Today, many people have little knowledge of the events related to WWII, especially those events which took place prior to the US entry into the conflict. By not explaining the Blitzkrieg, the surprise attack through the Ardennes and the dashed hopes of the British Army, the viewer is treated to a unexplained view of a young soldier running through defensive barricades and winding up, with thousands of other soldiers, on the beach at Dunkirk.
There is no background to tell the viewer how this disaster unfolded. That major flaw of the movie was noted by Mr. Mulderig in his comment, “In picking up the story at this point… .”
The heroic rescue adventure by Mr. Dawson, his son Peter and young George does have the potential to involve and educate the viewer. If other treatments of the Dunkirk evacuation correctly identify the Dawson character as Charles Lightoller, Second Officer of the Titanic and a storied WWII naval commander, a major historical lesson was missed.
Perhaps only WWII and Korean War vets would appreciate that young soldier squirreling away the leaflets dropped, to be used later for personal necessity, in a brief scene on the beach.
The “Dunkirk” film was a missed opportunity to adequately present a monumental historical undertaking to a modern audience.
JOHN H. MARK, SR.