Right Hooks

The Untold Part of 'Unbroken'

Jan. 2, 2015

“Unbroken” is a movie portraying the incredible true story of World War II vet Louis Zamperini, who was held as a POW by the Japanese. But according to evangelist Franklin Graham, the movie’s director, Angelina Jolie, stopped at chapter 33, leaving out the “most important part of the book.” That’s where Zamperini recounts his return home and, in 1949, his coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Zamperini died last summer at age 97, though before he died Jolie showed him the film on a laptop at his hospital bed. Zamperini’s son, Luke, says the film did justice to his dad’s faith through a series of cards at the end credits – “exactly the way my Dad and our entire family wanted it,” he said. Zamparini’s story would likely have ended with tragedy rather than triumph if his wife had not insisted he come back to the Billy Graham crusade in California. Clearly, both of Zamparini’s books included what he believed was the most important part of his story. We think to mention his faith in a postscript to the film is seriously understated, primarily because it leaves unanswered how he was able later to meet with and forgive the guards who beat him so mercilessly. In Zamparini’s own words, “My life after the war was terrible. I came home alive. God kept his promise but I didn’t keep mine. I went forward and I accepted Christ. I knew I was threw getting drunk … and I knew I had forgiven all of my guards, including ‘the Bird.’ … That was the first night I never had a nightmare. And I haven’t had one since. … The next morning I found my New Testament, which was sent home in my footlocker when I was declared dead, and I began to read. … You talk about a miracle. … For the first time I understood what the Bible was saying. And tears began to roll down my face. … The heart of this story is when I found Christ as my Savior, and that’s the heart of my whole life.”

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