@Ruth: The way Nolan decided to make Dunkirk was never an issue because in the end he focused on the evacuation itself which itself leads to focus on the Brits. I'm saying this a non-white woman.
This is not some Exodus Gods and Kings situation where the leading roles were being portrayed by white actors (with orange foundation) while the secondary and background actors were not.
Btw I so agree with you on a better representation of minorities. And by that I means it'd be nice if minorities can get roles where race is not specified. While I'm happy to see a movie like Hidden Figures, Lion, Straight Outta Compton, 12 years a Slave, these are role where no white actors could have starred in them. But there are so few of those every year. I feel like when neither race nor gender is specified for a role, the default setting is to cast a white male.
Yeah, what I was trying to say. It's an experience film, besides. To go into historical details in depth would have been out of genre basically?
But like. If he chose to include a non white character, it wouldn't have been pandering if it was something he had in mind or the chatacter's race was unspecified whilst casting. It's historically accurate, just like it's accurate to not have one and focus on a small group of white Britons. Either choice wouldn't have been far fetched. Nolan may not have wanted to make too many political statements with this, so he took out/avoided some stuff. Maybe lol. We'll never know. But I just kind of wish some people weren't so dismissive of the possibility being there lol.
About casting white actors by default when race is not specified.. Yeah, it's exactly what needs to be addressed and changed.
He could have had a group of Indian soldiers doing something in town - transporting supplies, stacking sandbags, whatever. It would have been nice, even though from what I've read, the Indian soldiers were mainly outside of town, defending. Nolan's film doesn't go outside of town but he did include a group of French defending from inside the town.
Bolton could have said he was staying to help evacuate the French and Indian soldiers.
Sadly, even Wikipedia does not mention the Indian troops.
The last of the British Army left on 3 June, and at 10:50, Tennant signalled Ramsay to say "Operation completed. Returning to Dover". Churchill insisted on coming back for the French and the Royal Navy returned on 4 June, to rescue as many as possible of the French rearguard. Over 26,000 French soldiers were evacuated on that last day but between 30,000 and 40,000 more were left behind and forced to surrender to the Germans.
Pakistani soldiers also not mentioned on Wikipedia.
When you look back at old 1940 Dunkirk photos of the actual evacuation (boats and trains) it's hard to spot anyone who does not appear to be a white British soldier. I saw one train photo from June 3 of a turbanned soldier and a French soldier in the window of a train. Mainly, French and others were evacuated after the British. The film's perspective leaves Dunkerque when the cast leaves.
This guy is mostly taking shots at Peter Travers' review as well as the lack of Indian soldiers.
Nolan, to be sure, is a master stylist now in his top form who has a solid record with enduring films like "Memento" (2000) and his signature take on his Batman trilogy - but he is no Sergey Eisenstein in "Battleship Potemkin" (1925).
Nolan is a self-assured filmmaker with a solid command of his craft - but he is no Stanley Kubrick in "Path of Glory" (1957) or "Full Metal Jacket" (1987).
Nolan is a gifted storyteller staged confidently here in his "Dunkirk" - but he is no Terrence Malick in "The Thin Red Line" (1998). Nolan stages a judicious sense of drama - but he is no Elem Klimov in "Come and See" (1985). Nolan has a sensual sense of the sea and sand - but he is nowhere near Wolfgang Petersen in "Das Boot" (1981).
Please, ladies and gentlemen film critics: Nolan has a good pair of eyes for the aesthetic of warfare - but he is no Akira Kurosawa in "Ran" (1985). "The greatest war film ever?" You need to go back to film school if you had any serious education to begin with.
Nolan is simply not in the same league. One sequence in Kurosawa's "Ran" - the violent siege in which Hidetora and his samurai are attacked by his sons Taro and Jiro's combined forces - has forever in the history of cinema defined what it means to do a war scene. That sequence uplifts the Shakespearean tragedy and medieval Japanese dynastic feuds into the stage of archetypal truth. Nolan is no Kurosawa. "Dunkirk" is not "Ran".
So no, "Dunkirk" is most certainly not "the greatest war film ever", nor indeed is it the worst. It is the best Nolan has been capable so far to do as he desperately tries to find his cinematic signature, which here is somewhere near Spielberg’s equally hyped, but vacuous, "Saving Private Ryan" (1998).
There is no place for him yet in the pantheon of master visionaries like Eisenstein, Kurosawa, Lean, Kubrick, Malick, and a few others.