Month: August 2017

Nolan’s Dunkirk: “Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans”

Nolan’s Dunkirk: “Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans”

(Reviewed for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project.) Dunkirk, pro­duced by Christo­pher Nolan, sets out to por­tray the 1940 res­cue of the Allied armies from the clutch­es of Hitler’s Wehrma­cht in terms of courage, hero­ism, sur­vival, and a few exam­ples of cow­ardice. In that he suc­ceeds admirably. In terms of context—in con­vey­ing an under­stand­ing of what Dunkirk was about—he fails utterly.

Drama Sans Meaning

Mr. Nolan says con­text wasn’t the aim. Dunkirk is about com­mu­nal togeth­er­ness and uni­ver­sal good­ness. But that could be shown on any beach in any war in the last hun­dred years from Gal­lipoli to Nor­mandy to Inchon.…

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“Tim”: In Memory of Timothy Robert Hardy, 1925-2017

“Tim”: In Memory of Timothy Robert Hardy, 1925-2017

 “What Price Churchill?” Click here for the final moments of a momen­tous tele­vi­sion epic. “Churchill: The Wilder­ness Years” (1981) enshrined him for­ev­er as the great­est of “Churchills” in a sea of pale imi­ta­tions. Mar­tin Gilbert‘s close involve­ment with the scriptwrit­ers gave him truth and sub­stance. In a world of revi­sion­ist his­to­ry, flawed por­traits and over­played roles, it was accu­rate to a fault. Tim­o­thy Robert Hardy was the only actor to play her father for whom Lady Soames would brook no word of crit­i­cism. I’ll always remem­ber her greet­ing Tim with out­stretched arms: “Papa!”

Hardy at Hillsdale

I’m glad we were in time.…

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“Amnesia” or Fantasy? The Indian Contribution in World War II

“Amnesia” or Fantasy? The Indian Contribution in World War II

Indi­an amne­sia? “Dunkirk, the War, and the Amne­sia of the Empire,” by Yas­min Khan. New York Times Opin­ion page, 2 August 2017.

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We should be grate­ful to Pro­fes­sor Yas­min Khan. Why? Because in deplor­ing the absence of Indi­an troops in the new movie Dunkirk, and the trag­ic 1943 Ben­gal famine, she blames “the impe­r­i­al state,” not the usu­al cul­prit, Win­ston Churchill:

At least three mil­lion Ben­galis died in a cat­a­stroph­ic famine in 1943, a famine that is almost nev­er dis­cussed. The famine’s caus­es were a byprod­uct of the war, but as Mad­hus­ree Muk­er­jee has proved in her book Churchill’s Secret War, the impe­r­i­al state also failed to deliv­er relief.…

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