Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan reveals why he chose to focus on 'communal heroism' in current political climate

Christopher Nolan says he designed Dunkirk in a way that the Oscar nominated film focuses more on what individuals can achieve in their communal capacities.

FP Staff February 16, 2018 11:38:55 IST
Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan reveals why he chose to focus on 'communal heroism' in current political climate

Christopher Nolan, whose period war drama Dunkirk has been nominated in eight categories of the 90th Academy Awards (including Best Film and Best Director), has confessed that the current divisive climate also played a crucial part in the way he designed his critically acclaimed film.

Dunkirk Christopher Nolan reveals why he chose to focus on communal heroism in current political climate

Christopher Nolan. Image from Twitter/@JohnSant87

In a podcast to Variety, Nolan says he wanted to focus more on what people can achieve in their communal capacities, as opposed to the individual.

"What it means to me is the possibilities of what can be achieved when people pull together, as opposed to what we can achieve individually. I think that movies, traditionally, have celebrated individuality and individual acts of heroism. That’s something that’s fit the narrative paradigm of movies. So a lot of what we’ve done editorially, photographically, it’s all aimed at trying to draw the audience into a different type of heroism, a communal heroism. I think we live in times that possibly overvalue individual achievement at the expense of what we can do together. For me, that’s the relevance of Dunkirk," he says to Variety.

In the same podcast, Nolan also discusses the three parallel narrative of the air, the land and the sea that he skillfully juxtaposed against each other in the film. "I’ve done films in the past that have required a lot of heavy exposition, because they’re dealing with complicated structures or conceits. The wonderful thing about the story of Dunkirk, to me, is how simple it is. It’s incredibly simple geography that you can explain, and it’s a very primal, ticking-clock, surrounded-on-all-sides, backs-to-the-sea situation. It’s very easy to get that across, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time talking about it. You can just experience it," he says to Variety.

The 90th Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on 4 March.

You can listen to the entire podcast here.

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