Unbroken” Louis Zamperini

On the New Year’s Day George and I went to see “Unbroken”; a hot movie about Louis Zamperini, who was born in Torrance, became an Olympian, and survived a brutal Japanese prisoner camp, directed by Angelina Jolie, who led an epidemic of double mastectomies as a breast cancer prevention.

In Torrance there is an airport named after Zamperini. Torrance High School is the school he graduated from, and I used to work there. After he became Christian, old Louis Zamperini came to a men’s club at our church as a guest speaker, and George had a chance to talk with him.  There were enough interests to see the movie.

After the movie was over, George asked me, “So what do you think about the movie?”

Well, first there were so many horrifying scenes that were very hard to watch.  The main part of the movie was that a Japanese sadistic soldier, Mutsuhiro Watanabe, abused Zamperini like hell, and especially when he commanded all prisoners to beat Zamperini’s face one by one because Zamperini refused to broadcast anti-America propaganda on the radio, it was almost too heavy to take it.  I was afraid that people may become anti-Japan, and Japanese may instantly react saying, ”How about Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s atomic bombing?”

Second, the movie didn’t include the most amazing or crucial part of Zamperini’s life: When he became a Christian after the war, being influenced by Billy Graham, he was saved from the hate and nightmares, which had continually tormented him, and he went back to Japan not for revenge but to forgive the soldiers who had abused and tortured him.  The movie only described about it in short sentences at the very end.  It was disappointing.

The evil man, Watanabe, was on an interview in “60 Minutes” when Zamperini went back to Japan.  Watanabe didn’t deny his brutal treatment towards Zamperini, but he refused to see Zamperini.  I can imagine for Watanabe it required so much courage to see the man he wanted to destroy, especially knowing the same man was willing to forgive him.  Nevertheless, It was so shameful that Watanabe didn’t take the offer of forgiveness.

As a Japanese the movie was not easy to watch.  Yet perhaps what I saw in the movie was Satan.  I recognized how savage Satan was.  His claws tear apart our bodies, minds, and souls mercilessly.  It was truly a miracle that Zamperini survived all such sarvage afflictiins.  The movie title “Unbroken” gives an image that Zamperini was an strong iron man, yet in the fact, his life was almost destroyed by the after effects of the satanic attacks during the prison camp despite his survival.  It was Jesus who saved him.

New challenges and trials will come, but if I get scared or depressed, I should remember Jesus who is stronger than Satan, and Zamperini, who produced so many fruits being healed by Him.  I am weak but my God is almighty!



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