I have an opportunity to share our thoughts with you about the new movie about Louis Zamperini. It’s called Unbroken: Path to Redemption, opening in theaters September 14, 2018. FlyBy/Propeller Promotions offered us the opportunity for a private, in-home screening of the film just ahead of its theater openings. And in addition, I have two Fandango movie tickets (codes) for one winner to be blessed with, so he or she can also see this amazing movie!! (Just know the Fandango codes will expire by October 14, 2018 or when Unbroken: Path to Redemption leaves the theater, whichever happens first. So if you’re the winner, use them by then!)
Who was Louis Zamperini?
Like me, you might have read Laura Hillenbrand’s remarkable book, Unbroken, about the life and wartime experiences of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner and WWII veteran. Zamperini survived 47 days in a lifeboat in the Pacific ocean after his plane was shot down. Then, when they were finally rescued, they were taken to a Japanese prison camp where he was a prisoner of war for several years. He finally was able to return to the U.S., where he met and married his wife (of 54 years), Cynthia. Trouble had come in the form of serious post-traumatic stress as a result of his days on the lifeboat (enduring sharks, no food, little water) and the regular abuse of the guards and officials at the prison camps. Upon his return home, Louis had trouble finding a job and dealt with the nightmares and terrors he was reliving from his wartime experiences by heavy drinking.
Unbroken: Path to Redemption picks up after Louis returns to his family in California, before he meets his wife, and it’s the story of the depths to which he falls before he is eventually rescued. My husband and I watched it together; I’d recommend it for audiences of at least high school age, just because of the terrors and struggles Louis endures, and the heavy drinking he embarks on.
This movie is a story of what happened to, and happens to Louis physically. It’s also very much a story of Louis’ suffering on a mental, emotional, and physical level as he is unable to correct his own path and deliver himself from the deep suffering and wounding he’s experiencing. I am trying not to give any spoilers to those unfamiliar with Louis’s life story. But I will tell you that help and hope eventually come, and that they come at a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles.
Our thoughts about Unbroken: Path to Redemption
I loved a lot about this movie; but parts of it were very hard to watch. (Just like many parts of the Unbroken book were devastating to read. Just a terrible amount of suffering that Louis had to endure.) I thought they got the look of the 1940s and early 1950s exactly right, from the makeup/clothing/hairstyles, to the cars and buildings. Louis’s and Cynthia’s love story was wonderful to watch as it unfolded. And while the viewer will deplore Louis’s choices and actions, they’re certainly understandable as a man tries to deal with unimaginable horrors. Especially in post-WWII America, where mental health treatment was (I imagine) vastly different than it is today.
Hope does come for Louis and Cynthia, though, at that Billy Graham Crusade I mentioned earlier. Billy Graham is played by Graham’s actual grandson Will Graham, and he does a great job portraying his grandfather (from the look, to the accent, to the manner of speaking.) The rest of the cast is also fantastic, whether it’s Samuel Hunt and Merritt Patterson as Louis and Cynthia, or the supporting cast members as Louis’ Italian-American family or Bird, the cruel official from the prison camp.
I love this film’s take on the spiritual journey Louis Zamperini is on. His remarkable changes, and resulting life choices, are both dramatic yet very believable. Also, there are some wonderful interviews and camera footage of Louis at various points in his life as well as Billy Graham introducing Louis at a crusade where he shared his own story. I definitely recommend this, but probably just for teens and adults.
Unbroken: Path to Redemption was produced by Matthew Baer, producer of the original Unbroken film, and released by Pure Flix. Louis’ son Luke Zamperini also served as an executive producer.
Now–you have a chance to win!
Would you like to see Unbroken: Path to Redemption in theaters? I have two Fandango Ticket codes that I’ll be giving away to one winner! To enter, simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you can enter in a variety of ways. The giveaway closes 9/22/18. Best wishes…and definitely, take a moment to see this movie even if you are not the winner!
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.