Monday, April 20, 2015

Why "Unbroken" Had a Fantastic Message

Last night I sat down with my family and cats and laptop and watched a rented copy of the recent movie Unbroken. It was a three-time Oscar nominee, was directed by Angelina Jolie, wasn't rated R (ugh, everything is rated R), and we'd also heard that it had a Christian message, but we had no clue how. So we gave it a shot.
Here's the IMDB blurb:
After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
That isn't too much to go on, is it? If any of you know much about WWII, you know that the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps were extremely cruel places to be.  This is portrayed in several heart-wrenching scenes of Unbroken. The officer in charge of the camp, known to the prisoners as "the bird," was particularly awful. He'd call Louis his friend, then have the other prisoners beat him up. I think he was a bit psycho.
Anyhow. I loved this movie for everything! We could all connect with Louis just about right from the start of the movie, it showed the war camps in horrifying clarity, and I could feel the tension of waiting for a rescue with the men on the life rafts. The whole thing was wonderfully put together and it made me tear up (which is quite the accomplishment, even if I don't actually shed a tear).
The movie ended with a few sentences about what Louis Zamperini did in the rest of his life, after WWII. And let me tell you - that was the most incredible part of the entire story.
Think about this: you spend two hours watching a guy you really do care about getting beaten up and beaten up on top of the last beating up, then standing up and carrying on, getting to know other prisoners, getting hope waved in his face, staying strong despite horrible treatment, getting taunted and hit again by a psychotic officer. And he just keeps getting back up and keeping on going. Finally, the movie ends, and sentences come onto the screen complete with pictures of the real Louis Zamperini about how he has PTSD, but finally fulfilled his dream of running in the Olympics at some 80 years old as a torch bearer - in Japan. About how he went and met with all his Japanese captors, except the Bird, who was the only one who refused to see him. About how he got married. About how he decided that forgiveness was the way forward after the war, and not revenge.
Louis Zamperini, at age 80, ran a leg in the torch run for the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, not far from the POW camp where he'd been found
Forgiveness. Can you imagine forgiving people who'd done nothing but beat you down for years? And not only you, but your countrymen, your allies, your friends? Can you imagine forgiving the people who'd killed plenty of other prisoners? I can't. But Louis Zamperini did. And you know why? Because he was motivated by his faith. Seriously, it even said that in the end of the movie (which is miraculous in and of itself that secular movie-makers even mention Christianity in a neutral light). He told God, when stranded in a life raft, that if He saved Louis Louis would dedicate the rest of his life to God. So Louis Zamperini did, and because of that he was able to do what most people would consider impossible. Forgive. It's one of the main messages of Christianity, and I am so pleased that that message was mentioned in even one small sentence in a movie targeted to a secular audience.

Have you seen Unbroken? What did you think? Did it move you too? What was your favorite scene? Tell me in the comments!


  1. I've heard it's a reeeally tough and emotional movie to sit through. I'm definitely curious BUT SCARED. xD I like tough gritty movies, but yes...I'm a scaredy cat. I cannot even imagine going through what this guy survived. 0_0
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. It is really emotional. It made me gasp and tear up and ugh. Feels. But it was really inspiring, in the end. It wasn't gory or anything - rated a nice PG-13. So you should watch it. :)

  2. I've heard so many good things about this movie, but I haven't seen it yet. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. :) Also, I tagged you for The Infinity Dreams Award here:

    1. Yes, do! It was really inspirational.
      Aw, thanks so much!