Christopher Nolan’s epic Dunkirk is a golden opportunity for this French port city to branch out from the heavy industry that has dominated it for a century

Not many small cities get a Hollywood blockbuster named after them, but then not many small cities are caught up in events as momentous as what unfolded on the French coast between 26 May and 4 June 1940. The 75th anniversary of the evacuation, Operation Dynamo, passed two years ago; Christopher Nolan’s epic is sure to bring further attention for this port city of 90,000 that almost spills over the Belgian border. It’s another opportunity to branch out from the heavy industry that has dominated since the late 19th-century and to deepen its tourist credentials.

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