Limbo: A Dunkirk Film

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Brief Synopsis:
No dialogue. All adrenaline. Limbo presents an intense, monochrome edit of Dunkirk as a non-stop series of events involving only the perspectives of soldiers at the beach. This is NOT a silent film since music, background voices, and sounds of stress still remain. But key dialogue are removed to serve the creative decisions.
Maple Films’ “Finest Hour” is clearly one of the best fanedit supercuts ever made. It just shows you how creative editors themselves contribute meaningful perspectives to the cinema canon. There’s nothing touching that, and I’m not planning on ever getting to that level.

When I revisited Dunkirk, I felt it was a top 3 Nolan movie. It did everything you know Nolan does- the characters longing out of situations, the three-arc intercutting climaxes, the whole time-dilation mindfuckery thing he does- all the greatest hits. He does them very well. Though I thought, what if we kept at a singular point of view? Would it be possible to maintain the suspense and intensity if we just stayed with the characters on the beach? That was where this edit came from. I went the opposite way from the Maple Films’ magnum opus, maximalist dramatic approach- I went with action, high-octane, boots-on-the-sand approach.
Special Thanks:
Special thanks to our talented, fellow peers:

Release Information:
  • Digital
  • Blu-Ray
Cuts and Additions:
Main Changes:
1. Added 1930’s WB logo animation at the beginning.
2. Movie adjusted for monochrome black and white. Small adjustment to emphasize certain tones.
3. Changed text style to “Silentina”, a typeface used on silent films.
4. Removed all scenes involving Mark Rylance, the boys, and “The Sea.”
5. Removed most scenes involving Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden, and “The Air.”
6. Removed most of Sir Kenneth Branagh scenes.
7. Removed dialogue. Some key dialogue replaced with intertitles (like in old silent films), which was fun to pull off.
8. In the epilogue as Tommy is reading the newspaper in the train, the movie transitions to color. When Tommy reads Churchill’s remarks, I kept that audio in for effect up until the end. Tom Hardy's scenes remain in black/white- his character never makes it home, so he stays behind stranded in "Limbo" sadly (gleem).

User reviews

2 reviews
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A very powerful and breathtaking experience. You really feel like you're there with the soldiers on that beach and the tension is real.

I didn't much notice any quality issues and even if there were any, they weren't significant for me to mention.
Presenting it in black and white is a solid creative decision by the editor and works well with the color-less situation on screen.

One thing I felt a bit underwhelmed about are the subtitles in several moments and even some background voices took me out of it for a bit. Once again, this is a creative decision by the editor and perhaps these are necessary (or were just technically impossible to workaround), but I feel these could have been done without. No speaking scenes at all (not even silenced ones) - only focus on the characters' action and emotional reaction. Until perhaps that final scene.

Overall, I enjoyed experiencing Dunkirk in this unique way and totally recommend it.
Owner's reply August 16, 2023

I'm floored! Thank you for the review!

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(Updated: August 04, 2023)
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UPDATE: The editor has improved the audio quality substantially so I've raised my scores for A/V, audio, and enjoyment. My original review is below.

I definitely recommend checking this out!


Limbo is a compelling concept, but I think it's let down by some technical issues and a storytelling device that disrupts the flow of the movie.


Watching Dunkirk purely from Tommy's perspective on the beach is an amazing way to experience the movie. Nolan's three-layer, three-speed format is fascinating, and does work, but it also continually pulls me away from the beach and reminds me I'm watching a movie ("Oh, that's right, we're in the plane now, so one minute = one hour...or is it one day?"). Having said that, by removing those gaps, and staying in the timeline of the beach, it becomes more evident it's just a sequence of fairly contrived failures. Maybe all those things happened, but it seems unlikely they happened to one person. It's easy to suspend disbelief on this point, though.

The opening moments really shine. The way 6 becomes 1 becomes 2 becomes 3, with almost no spoken lines is great, and I wish there was more of that wordless tension on display. I think the choice to minimize dialogue but still have it present in some places is brilliant, but the switch to "silent movie" text for some of the dialogue felt forced and disruptive. I found myself wishing I could hear the characters speak. Each text card pulled me out of the experience, and their frequency seemed to increase as the story progressed.

I'm not sure about including Farrier's scenes (the pilot). It seemed to break the concept when we switched to his perspective, even though we were technically still at the beach. I'd be interested in seeing a version where we never see inside the cockpit. It's just one aircraft that does a deus ex machina and exits stage left.

I'm also not sure about the inclusion of the epilogue on the train. Because we never experience the perspective of the civilians, we never really feel like the outside world should have one thought or another about the situation on the beach, so Tommy's concern feels unmotivated, and the newspaper article a little random.


I didn't notice any issues with the visual cuts aside from the blackout at 24:23 which felt just a touch off, timing-wise.

The delayed title at the 14min mark was amazing!

As far as the B&W presentation, I really enjoyed it, and some early scenes looked great, but I think it could have used some contrast adjustments in places to create more depth.


There were some audio pops here and there. I recorded two timestamps in my notes: 11:23 and 24:23


The video quality is fairly good, but there is some banding in the underwater scenes, and also in some of the shots of the sky. I watched the 1080p version which is 1.4GB. It's possible these issues aren't present in the larger files, but as I only have a 1080p display, it didn't seem fruitful to download one of them.

The audio quality was quite poor, and I found it uncomfortable to listen to in places. Everything sounded heavily compressed.
Explosions sounded crushed and without much low-end oomph. I think this is due to the encoding settings, as the audio bitrate on my file is only 253Kbps, which may be too low to capture a proper six channel soundscape. It may be an easy fix for the editor to render it out again at a higher bitrate (eg. 512Kbps). I would be VERY interested in watching this again with improved audio.


I'm afraid I have to mark this down somewhat due to the low quality audio and the way the text cards disrupted the flow of the story for me.

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Owner's reply July 15, 2023

Thank you so much for the review!

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