Special Report

Directed by Angelina Jolie
Genre : Action, War, Historical
Starring : Jack O’Connell
Running time : 137 min

Did you make a plan for this year? Many things we plan for are never realized. When you feel like giving up on your goal, the movie Unbroken can give you some insight.

A little boy named Louis Zamperini moves from Italy to America with his family. He is a rebel. He drinks, smokes and quarrels with his friends every day. One day Louis’s brother notices his ability and suggests doing track and field. His brother gives him some advice, “If you can take it, you can make it.” He is selected for the national team when he is nineteen. Finally, he is recognized as one of the most valuable athletes of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Then World War Ⅱ breaks out, and he joins the US Air Force. During the war, his plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean, and he spends 47 days adrift on a lifeboat. Then the Japanese Army finds him, and he has an even bigger crisis. He is picked up by the Japanese Army and tortured. They discover that he is an athlete and suggest he become pro-Japanese. He refuses the offer and they torture him worse. He survives his ordeal with will power and his brother’s word: If you can take it, you can make it.

Throughout his ordeals, Louis Zamperini remained unbroken. That is how President Theodore Roosevelt described him in the letter of his death sent to his parents in June 1943. When he was lost in the Pacific Ocean, the US Army considered him to be dead. Laura Hillenbrand, the original author, read the letter and thought the word unbroken fit Louis Zamperini, so she used it as the title of his story. Angelina Jolie was also of the same opinion.

Angelina Jolie’s decision to make the movie as historically accurate as possible has upset many Japanese nationalists. Several right-wing organizations in Japan gathered signatures to prevent her from entering Japan, but she didn’t care. It was much more important to her to not only tell the story of Louis’s unbreakable will, but also important to present the historical facts of war and show that war is always bad. She wants to show that the spirit of forgiveness can overcome the horrors of war.

He became a preacher after the war. The theme of his speeches was always forgiveness. When Japan was under US military rule in 1950, he visited Japan and met World War II class-A Japanese criminals in prison. He also ran as the Nagano Olympics torch-bearer in 1998. He has shown how important it is not to give up. You can think about how to deal with difficult tasks. No matter what, you should never give up, always keep trying. It is a great film to get you motivated for the new school year.