Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan reveals war film is told through three perspectives, has 'little dialogue'

'For the soldiers embarked in the conflict, the events took place on different temporalities'

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Despite a trailer being in existence for new Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk, not much is known about the filmmaker's upcoming World War II epic.

In a rare interview, Nolan has provided some details about what audiences can expect when the film's anticipated July release rolls around - and from the sounds of it, this will be the Memento and Interstellar director's most unconventional film yet.

The key discovery is that the film will be split into three sections told through differing points of view from those based on land (Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles), sea (Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance) and in the air (Tom Hardy).

Speaking to French magazine Premiere, Nolan said: “For the soldiers embarked in the conflict, the events took place on different temporalities. On land, some stayed one week stuck on the beach. On the water, the events lasted a maximum day; and if you were flying to Dunkirk, the British spitfires would carry an hour of fuel.

“To mingle these different versions of history, one had to mix the temporal strata. Hence the complicated structure; Even if the story, once again, is very simple.”

Another thing to take away from the interview is that the film won't be exposition heavy with editor Lee Smith stating he had his work cut out for him "...because there is little dialogue."

Dunkirk - Survival Teaser Trailer

Nolan added: "The empathy for the characters has nothing to do with their story. I did not want to go through the dialogue, tell the story of my characters. The problem is not who they are, who they pretend to be or where they come from. The only question I was interested in was: Will they get out of it? Will they be killed by the next bomb while trying to join the mole? Or will they be crushed by a boat while crossing?“

Dunkirk will tell the true story of Operation Dynamo, a daring plan to rescue 300,000 Allied troops who were surrounded by Nazis soldiers in the French Republic commune during World War II.  

Nolan said: “This is an essential moment in the history of the Second World War,“ Nolan said. ”If this evacuation had not been a success, Great Britain would have been obliged to capitulate.“

Dunkirk will be released in the UK on 21 July, a few days after its IMAX premiere.