Angelina Jolie’s most recent directorial effort, Unbroken, has caused some controversy for one particular decision regarding Louis Zamperini’s religion.
Angelina Jolie has moved away from her more typical role of being in front of the camera to being behind it. Unbroken, the most recent film directed by the Hollywood star, follows the true life story of a man who was a World War II hero. When his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, Louis Zamperini was adrift for forty seven days – and then had to endure the terrible life of a prisoner of war in Japanese camps. However, his acceptance of Christianity helped him forgive his captors, and move on with his life.
Some of Angelina Jolie’s decisions as director have stirred some controversy among those familiar with the history and the book the movie is based on, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.
In her film Unbroken Angelina Jolie decided not to identify Christianity as the religion that Zamperini embraces after his ordeals. Instead, she has decided to make it more universal and talk about faith in general, rather than one faith specifically. Angelina Jolie stated that this decision was “agreed upon with Louie [Zamperini]. He said he wanted the message to reach everyone. He said to make faith and forgiveness universal.” Despite this, many critics believe that the Christian fans of the book portraying Zamperini’s life will potentially be disappointed with this interpretation of his story of finding faith in Christ.
Zamperini’s children, on the other hand, have spoken out in praise of Angelina Jolie’s directorship. His son Luke stated that: “The film [Unbroken], I think, portrays beautifully his faith throughout. The message is there, and it’s there in a way that’s going to get people to think, to find out for themselves exactly what this means.” Zamperini’s daughter Cynthia Garris agreed with her brother. She argued that, “if they wanted to know more about how he got through it, how he survived it, they could investigate it. He never wanted to preach at them but live the example.”
The film premiered last week and, although Angelina Jolie could not make it as she was recovering from chicken pox, Brad Pitt and their children Maddox, Pax, and Shiloh showed up on her behalf. Unbroken will be released in theaters Christmas Day, December 25, 2014.