Water slaps hollow metal, metal knocks creaking wood...
Paper. Falling like snow. Six young, filthy Tommy's raise
their heads along a deserted street, checking rubbish bins,
windows... One crouches to check a coiled garden hose. He
tries the tap -nothing...
THE ENEMY HAVE DRIVEN
THE BRITISH AND FRENCH ARMIES TO THE SEA
One Tommy plucks paper from the air... Propaganda leaflets
showing their position... “YOU ARE SURROUNDED”....
TRAPPED AT DUNKIRK,
THEY AWAIT THEIR FATE
He wads the leaflets up, crouches, drops his trousers... The
Tommy with the hose carefully lifts each side...
HOPING FOR DELIVERANCE
He gets a tiny dribble of water which he licks from the
FOR A MIRACLE:
BLAM BLAM BLAM! Tommy jolts, grabs his trousers. All six race
away from us, towards a fence twenty yards away. One by one,
five are shot down. The survivor climbs the fence. Gunfire
bursts through the fence, ten feet away
Tommy tries to reload his rifle -fingers struggling with the
magazine, training forgotten. Gunfire splinters the fence,
five feet away
Tommy thrusts his index finger into the breech of his rifle
again and again, scraping skin. A round jumps into the
Gunfire three feet away Tommy
tries once, twice -slides the bolt forward Gunfire
right next to him Tommy
spins around, fires blind until empty, scrambles out
the back. He races down narrow Dunkirk streets. Breathing.
Kit jangling... Building after building... He rounds a corner
BLAM! Bullets hit dirt and bricks near him. The street ahead
is barricaded, manned by French troops.
The French stop firing and wave him through.
He scrambles over their sandbag barricade, taking in their
dirty frightened faces as he passes...
A French Soldier grabs him...
Tommy’s mouth opens at the man’s bitterness.
FRENCH SOLDIER (CONT’D)
He shoves Tommy down the street behind their protection.
Gunfire behind. Tommy takes off again, hurtling down the dark
street, heading towards the blazing light of
EXT. BEACH AT MALO LES BAINS -CONTINUOUS
The longest, widest beach he’s ever seen, sunlight dazzling
off the water, endless dark fences snaking across the sand
and out into the water. Tommy squints -not fences, lines of
men, hundreds of thousands of men...
Tommy looks around, clutching his stomach. He clambers over a
dune, feverishly undoing his belt, dropping trousers and
squatting before he realizes
He’s not alone
Another soldier, British army shirt undone, sweating with the
labour of burying a body. This is Gibson.
The other man notices Tommy, but barely pauses. Tommy
finishes, pulls ups his trousers and moves towards him. Tommy
helps stoop to tie over the body.
Tommy notices the corpe’s stockinged feet, then watches
Gibson stoop to tie his boots...
Gibson looks up at him. Tommy shrugs, gestures for Gibson’s
water can. Gibson hands it over and Tommy takes a swig,
carefully catching drops in his hand, then licking them off
Tommy leaves Gibson buttoning his shirt and heads back onto
There are destroyers out on the water, too far to reach.
Tommy wanders down to join one of the long, snaking lines
which extends into the sea, soldiers up to their chests in
water, waiting patiently for ships which do not move.
The man at the back turns to Tommy, unwelcoming. Points at
his own insignia.