I am excited for the opportunity to review Unbroken Legacy of Faith edition for FishFlix.com!  When The Old Schoolhouse approached me with this opportunity, I spoke to my husband about this movie.  Although he had not seen this movie, he did talk about the reviews he had read, which I will cover later.

When I agreed to review this movie, I immediately began researching the subject of this film – Louis “The Great” Zamperini.  After reading his story, I was speechless.  The life of this man, from sinner to redeemed, is absolutely amazing!  My only regret is that I did not know about him sooner or had the opportunity to meet him personally.

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(Photo Curtesy of Unbroken the film)

Academy award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces this epic drama that follows the life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini.  The movie begins with Louie’s troubled youth.  He would steal money, smoke cigarettes, drink liquor and everything in between.  Keep in mind, Louie was not yet a teenager when he began these activities.  His family was Italian immigrants living in California during the outbreak of World War II.  The community already had a dislike for Italian immigrants and Louie was not making matters better.  Fortunately for Louie, he had parents who never stopped praying for him.  He had an older brother who encouraged Louie to find more meaningful activities, such as sports, to keep him out of trouble.  He also had influential people in the community who tried to keep him on the straight and narrow.  However, where there was trouble, you could find Louie.

Louie, with the encouragement of his older brother, did turn to track as a way to release his frustration.  He was so good at running track, that he set the record for the mile run.  It wasn’t long after that he was invited to the Olympic trials, which he was selected to represent the United States Olympic team in Nazi Germany.  I won’t give too many details about his Olympic feats, but I will say that his roommate was Jesse Owens and Adolph Hitler requested a meeting with Louie.  Want to know more?  You’ll have to watch the movie.

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Jolie does a great job in directing this movie.  Every event in Louie’s life is accompanied by a scene from his past.  As Louie is struggling in a Japanese prison camp, a scene depicting his rough past is depicted, showing the similarities, if you will.  Honestly, I was surprised by Jolie’s attention to detail with many of the scenes in this movie.

If you are like me and were not aware of Louie Zamperini’s story, you will be amazed.  Louie, along with two other bomber crewmen, survived on a raft for 47 days in the Pacific Ocean after a near-fatal plane crash which took the lives of the other crewmen.  These three men took extreme measures to survive rough waters, sharks and even Japanese planes, only to be rescued by the Japanese Navy and sent to a Japanese prison camp.  The torture Louie and his fellow prisoners were put through was enough to make a strong man buckle at the knees.  This incredible tale of survival and forgiveness, as well as the inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit, is a must-see for all of us.

I would love to tell you more, but then I would be a huge spoiler.  Actually, I am fighting the desire to tell you more.  It is definitely a movie I will watch again before the week is out.

Another item I was blessed to review is the 90-minute bonus features.  Included in this bonus feature are interviews from Louie’s closest friends, former military buddies, Franklin Graham, and snippets from Billy Graham Crusades.  The bonus features were amazing.  After watching this additional DVD, that is when I truly seen the transformation of Louie from sinner to redeemed.  I can not put into words the troubled teen who became an ambassador for Christ.

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(Photo VIA Billy Graham Ministries www.BillyGraham.org)

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(Photo VIA BillyGraham.org)

However, I was somewhat disappointed in the adaptation of Louie’s life by director and producer Angelina Jolie.  She did include a few scenes of Louie (portrayed by actor Jack O’Connell) talking about prayer.  Although she did a remarkable job of bringing Louie’s tale of torture and survival to life, I feel an injustice was done by not showing his redemption after the war.  I would have liked to have seen a little more of his life post-war and how he overcame the atrocities of the horrendous experiences.  This is what my husband told me prior to watching the movie.  He had read some reviews and many people spoke about Jolie not including Louie’s faith.

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(Louis and his wife Cynthia)

I give this movie a 4.9 out of 5.  Although I would have liked to have seen more of his road to redemption in the actual movie, the path leading up to his life following Christ was depicted very well. I am thankful that the bonus movie featured the rest of his story. I give the bonus a 5/5.

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(Take a moment to look at this picture. So realistic. Curtesy of Unbroken the movie)

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In Christ,

Laura

Schoolhouse disclaimer

Build Your Bundle-What Will You Build

Laura Prater is a long time Army wife, her husband just retired after 20 years Active Duty this past July. She, her husband, and family are still very active in the military community. Laura is an area volunteer for National Military Family Association and also contributes occasionally to MilitaryOneClick as part of their Blogger Brigade. In addition to all this Laura is a homeschool mom to their three boys. You can find Laura sharing her favorite recipes and chatting about faith, family, all things homemaking, and homeschool over at her other website www.awefilledhomemaker.com