There are some lives that almost dwarf others, that the minor steps that they take on the way to success seem to outweigh even our greatest achievements. Louis Zamperini, without a doubt, led one of those lives. As a nineteen year old Olympian, Louis ran in the 5000 metre event at the 1936 summer games in Germany, where he met and shook hands with Adolf Hitler, who later referred to Zamperini as ‘the boy with the fast finish’. As a soldier, Louis spent two years in a prisoner of war camp, where he experienced the Japanese war crimes first-hand. And as a civilian, upon his return home, Louis Zamperini fought against alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder, and was only able to find peace in himself when he found God.
In the stunning 2010 biography Unbroken, written by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand, the specifics of this monumental story come to light. We see the love and respect between Louis and his family, the strength of Zamperini and the other POW’s, and the intimate details that come together to bring to light a story that shows the true strength of the human spirit. The most important aspect of the book, however, is the importance of forgiveness, even against those who seemingly have no right to be forgiven.
It was with high expectations, then, that the latest trailer for Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken was released earlier this week. Adapted for the screen by the Coen brothers, there is no doubt that this film will bring the spine-tingling, hair raising, edge of your seat feeling that can only come from a truly great film. A life as epic as Louis Zamperini’s was begging to be transformed for the big screen, and if Angelina Jolie can match the powerful voice of the book, we can expect great things this December.
Check out the astonishing trailer below:
Released on Boxing Day, 2014
Words by Jack Williams