Unbroken is a film worth watching. Jack O’Connell’s performance is great, and he has received the BAFTA Rising Star Award this year. He plays Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who enlists in the military in WW2 and struggles through hardships, refusing to be “broken” in a Prisoner of War camp. It is also based on a true story, and you can view the trailer here.
The rest of this post will contain *spoilers* so don’t read on if you do not wish to know particular details about the film and its ending.
In the PoW camp Louis is imprisoned in, the Japanese head guard is someone he had met at the Olympics, and this creates a tension which eventually brings the guard to tears, as men who had once been equals realise the harshness of the war.
At the end of the film a message pops onto the screen:
After years of severe post-traumatic stress, Louie made good on his promise to serve God, a decision he credited with saving his life. Motivated by his faith, Louie came to see that the way forward was not revenge, but forgiveness. He returned to Japan, where he found and made peace with his former captors.
I was reminded of Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, a book I read in 2010, which is similar in that Corrie eventually shakes the hand of one of her captors and feels that despite his sins God has been able to forgive him because of his repentance.
The message of forgiveness and the strength of will displayed in this film are beautiful and encouraging. A film well worth watching.