How Brexit Won World War Two

Two British Second World War dramas are among the leading contenders for Academy Awards this year. Dunkirk, about the 1940 evacuation of British troops from France, received eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Christopher Nolan. The Darkest Hour, showing Winston Churchill becoming Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, has six nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Gary Oldman.

A third British movie about the Second World War, Churchill, released in June, offers a portrait of Winston Churchill’s doubts and disagreements with his officers and allies in the run-up to the 1944 Normandy invasion. Brian Cox was superb in the title role, but 2017 was a tough year to pit the failing, war-worn Churchill against the fresh, inspirational orator who rallied his countrymen against Nazi tyranny.

In his review of The Darkest Hour, Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw wrote:

Just as Britain negotiates its inglorious retreat from Europe, and our political classes prepare to ratify the chaotic abandonment of a union intended to prevent another war, there seems to be a renewed appetite for movies about 1940…

Bradshaw asked the film’s producers if they recognized the relevance of their cinematic Churchill to current events. They told him they had planned their movie long before the Brexit vote. But the zeitgeist often takes a while to incubate artistic and political phenomena before bearing fruit. An abiding ambivalence, both toward…

Read more