The Film “Unbroken” Leaves Out the Most Important Aspect of Louis Zamperini’s Life

Unbroken opens Christmas day in major theaters across the United States. It’s about the life of Louis Zamperini. According to some, it’s only about some of Louis Zamperini’s life. It’s based on the book of the same name written by Laura Hillenbrand.

Hillenbrand delighted audiences with her book Seabiscuit that was also turned into a film in 2003.

While Hildebrand was doing research for her Seabiscuit book, she kept coming across news stories of Louis Zamperini who was a track star during the same time Seabiscuit was “a hugely popular media sensation in the United States during the Great Depression.”

She stated that when she finished her Seabiscuit book, she wanted to do a book on Zamperini’s life. Unbroken is the result.

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Unbroken“Louis Zamperini was a small-town California boy who won a spot on the US track team at the 1936 Olympics and went on to fly bombers in the Pacific in World War II. Shot down, he drifted on a raft in the ocean for 47 days, then was taken prisoner by Japan and suffered some more.”

People who have read the book give it accolades of high praise. My wife is one of them.

A number of people contend that the film cut the spirit out of the story. Kyle Smith of the New York Post writes:

“What kind of inner fortitude delivered Louie? We don’t really know. We learn in passing that he was once skeptical about God, became a believer during a storm and vowed to dedicate his life to the Lord. But Jolie is bored by this angle and drops it, except as a tease for whatever suckers out there might be fooled into thinking this is a Christian epic. Jolie is far more intrigued by shallow Oprah-style self-help slogans like ‘If I can take it, I can make it.’”

Others seem to agree.


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