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Art doesn’t imitate life


As Dunkirk opens in UK cinemas, Professor Mark de Rond of Cambridge Judge writes in The Independent on how Hollywood war casualties are far different from the real thing he witnessed at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

On Friday 21 July the new movie Dunkirk opens in UK cinemas, a dramatic retelling of an indelible moment of World War II history. Mark de Rond, Professor of Organisational Ethnography at Cambridge Judge Business School, wrote an essay in The Independent about how when it comes to war casualties, Hollywood films and real life are vastly different.

Mark de Rond at Camp Bastion
Professor Mark de Rond at Camp Bastion

The article begins:

“One Direction’s Harry Styles will make his movie debut this month in Dunkirk, an ambitious retelling of the 1940 evacuation of more than 330,000 Allied troops from the Nazi-besieged beaches of Dunkirk. When watching the trailer, I caught a brief glimpse of medics carrying a wounded man on a stretcher. As someone who’s seen war up close, my first thought was that art really doesn’t imitate life.

During the war in Afghanistan in 2011, I spent six weeks at an army hospital in Camp Bastion as part of my research on high-performing teams. At the time, it was the world’s bloodiest hospital and I was surprised to learn that it was also home to many a war movie on the base’s TV screens.”

Read the full article on The Independent website, where it originally appeared