The Miracle At Dunkirk In History And Film Cody Drabble Chris Remington Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Sacramento, CA Listen / download audio Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. In May 1940, the German army had surrounded retreating Allied forces on the beaches of Dunkirk, France. The British, French, Belgian and Canadian troops were cut off and facing capture or death until a flotilla of more than 800 boats evacuated 338,226 soldiers across the English Channel from May 26 to June 4, 1940. This is the subject of Christopher Nolan’s special large-format film “Dunkirk,” and the Esquire IMAX in downtown Sacramento is one of 30 theatres worldwide that will have the full-format presentation. Beth Ruyak speaks with WWII historian Eric Rauchway and Esquire Theatre Director Doug Link about the technical challenges involved in large-format film and the event that inspired it.