Unbroken: Louis Zamperini


We went to see Unbroken  and highly recommend this movie about Louis Zamperini.  Much of the movie depicts inhuman treatment in a prisoner-of-war camp in World War Two, so a number of the scenes may be too rough for some viewers. (Watch the trailer.)  Personally, the movie impressed me with Louis’ spirit to survive and, we’re told at the end, his ability to forgive.

The movie doesn’t explain that power to forgive came from his relationship with Christ.  After the war, he reluctantly attended a Billy Graham Crusade with his wife in 1949, giving his life to Christ. Later, he visited many of the guards to tell them he forgave them. One of those times was in 1950 at the Sugamo prison which held Japanese war criminals.  The prison camp official, “the bird,” refused to talk with Louie, however.

When Louie was young, his brother, Pete, said to him, “A minute of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.” He was a trouble-maker as a child, but Pete helped redirect his energies into going out for track. Louie began to excel, even running in the Olympics in Berlin in 1936. These, and other pieces of his past, were foundational for him to endure 47 days adrift in a raft in the Pacific, followed by more than two years as a POW.

The 1998 Olympic Winter Games were held in Nagano, Japan, very near the town where Louis had been a prisoner. The people of Nagano honored Louis, asking him to carry the Olympic flame for a portion of the torch relay.

Louis was still alive and aware of the production of Unbroken, but died several months before the film’s release.

To read more about Louis, visit LouisZamperini.net or this article on Wikipedia.

You may also be interested in the biography, Unbroken, on which the film is based, and in this 15-minute interview of Louis Zamperini by CBN:

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