Blockbuster Dunkirk has won praise from critics in the UK but is less popular across the channel, with French critics slamming Christopher Nolan's latest film for glorifying British soldiers, while neglecting the role played by French troops in the 1940 evacuation.

Historians and film critics have accused Nolan of "rewriting history" in his blockbuster film, which was released on Wednesday (19 July), by failing to mention that besides the large number of British soldiers killed during the operation, thousands of French soldiers also lost their lives.

Around 30,000 French troops held back Nazi divisions near the city of Lille to protect their allies during the evacuation code-named Operation Dynamo.

Only a dozen seconds are devoted to this immense act of bravery in the film.

Renowned French film critic Jacques Mandelbaum called Nolan "witheringly impolite" and slammed the director's "deplorable indifference" towards his country's contribution to the epic evacuation.

"Where in the film are the 120,000 French soldiers who were also evacuated from Dunkirk? Where are the 40,000 who sacrificed themselves to defend the city against a superior enemy in weaponry and numbers?" he asked in his review in French newspaper Le Monde.

"No one can deny a director's right to focus his point of view on what he sees fit, as long as it does not deny the reality of which it claims to represent," he added.

"This vibrant homage to the British Army and people avoids the suffering of the French soldiers who, after protecting the British retreat, watched the last boats sail away. They were heading for the night of the occupation," a review in Les Echos, a business paper, read.

French historian Dominique Lormier commented: "Anglo-Saxon history has an unfortunate habit of playing up the armed feats of the British and passing those of the French army in silence."

'Dunkirk': IMAX Featurette
Historians and film critics have accused Nolan of “rewriting history” in his blockbuster film