Christopher Nolan’s latest offering, Dunkirk, released last week and cinephiles have had long and hard discussions over it already. Nolan has gone on record saying he wanted the audience to feel what the British soldiers felt while awaiting their evacuation at the French coast. Few would disagree that Dunkirk indeed was an ‘immersive’ IMAX experience as was promised. Nolan’s mastery over technique did put you right into the middle of a World War II battle scene.
Back in the pre-television days newsreels were shown before the feature presentation at the theatres. During both the World Wars these newsreels were an effective tool of propaganda. Thanks to those filmmakers who risked their lives to capture the ongoing war, we have some real footage of the Dunkirk evacuation. Charles Martin was the brave filmmaker who captured Operation Dynamo on his camera. You can check out his footage here:
There is also a documentary called the Cameramen At War which highlights Martin and other filmmakers of his ilk, who braved bullets, bombs and dynamites to bring back home the moving pictures of the armed forces which were later incorporated into newsreels. Some of them even got killed in the line of duty.