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Unbroken Movie Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 3208 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Unbroken Movie Analysis

The movie titled Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie, including actors Jack O’Connell, Miyavi, Alex Russell and many more. The movie was released in 2014 and was about a soldier named Louis Zamperini. Louis Zamperini was an Olympian racer who had enlisted for the war. In his life he faced many challenges such as surviving 47 days on a raft, sent to a POW camp and more. This movie shows his hard work, journey, and struggles he has faced in his life. This movie is based on a true story. For the historical accuracy, I would give a 9 out of 10 considering the historical events, historical characters and historical government system portrayed appropriately.

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Unbroken was a great movie with a great motive and message behind it. Unbroken was released in 2014. The time that takes place in the movie is during WW2 (1939 – 1945). The movie was not specific on the year or date but did cover up a large period of time showing the different seasons (i.e., winter – snow, summer). Unbroken takes place in Tokyo, Japan for the most part as Louis Zamperini was taken to a POW camp there when he was later captured by the Japanese. It also takes place on the Pacific Ocean the place where his plane crashed and California, his home. The main character is Louis Zamperini as it is based on his life, some other characters include Mutsuhiro Watanabe (The Bird) who was the commander of the camp Louis was at, Pete Zamperini who was Louis Zamperini’s brother who always told him to keep persevering and achieving the best, other prisoners that were at the POW camp, Phil who was the other survivor that was on the raft with him and etc. Angelina Jolie, the director wanted the audience to see the struggle that Louis Zamperini had gone through as mentioned before. Some main events from the film include when the plane Louis was on, crashed in the ocean. He and two other men rescued themselves and found a raft for themselves. Once one of the two men die, it leaves two of them which are later on captured by Japan. Another main event is Louis making a world record and him getting into the Olympics, being part of the Olympics saves him for a while but not for long until he refused to speak against his country in the broadcast. Also, another event is when the war finally ends and the prisoners including Louis are saved, provided food and finally able to return back home. One more event is Louis at the POW camp the amount of torture he faced, the lack of food he was provided and the amount of labor he had to do as well. Now that you know a bit about the movie let me explain why this is historically accurate.

For the most part, Unbroken is a historically accurate movie with factual information almost matching what had happened in the past including factors such as major historical events, historical characters, and government structure at the time. Firstly, many major historical events surrounding Louis Zamperini’s life did occur throughout the movie which were significant and many of which were true. One event is when Louis Zamperini had made it into the Olympics. During the 1936 Olympic trials he had made it and participated in. but did not do well. Afterward the same day he was noticed taking a picture with Hitler, this is what happened in real life, what happened in the movie was a bit different but the same concept Louis Zamperini had qualified for the Olympics and did not take part. In the movie it was shown that he did not win, nor did he earn anything, which place he got was not clear. In the movie it did not show him meeting Hitler, nor did it show that Hitler was present during the Olympics when Louis Zamperini was running. Looking at the similarities and differences it is not a big one since it does not affect Louis Zamperini’s future at all, not affecting the accuracy of the movie. This scene is important because when he did get into the Olympics him and his family were really impressed especially his brother who had been training and encouraging him to run. Also when it comes to the movie leaving out Hitler, Hitler did not play a huge role in his life. Another important event is when Louis Zamperini had enlisted in WW2 in the air force. The plane he was in had crashed. Due to this, he had to stay on a raft for 47 days until they were spotted by the Japanese. Louis Zamperini was with 2 others, one which had passed away and the other had survived along with him. All of these events also have actually occurred in the real Louis Zamperini’s life.

Secondly, the historical characters shown in the movie were also similar to the ones in real life. Not only the characters but their personality and character remained the same in the movie as well. One character/person is Louis’s brother. His brother, Pete Zamperini was the one to tell him to join the track team at his school because it would be a good idea for him since he was engaged in a lot of drinking and smoking, since he was good at running, in the movie it shows Louis Zamperini joining the school track team because his brother had advised him to. His brother was also the one that helped him train and keep on to his passion/talent. It was not clear or was not mentioned that the reason behind his brother telling him to join was with his addiction to drinking and smoking. The difference here is not too big, it’s just a matter of how or why his brother told him to join, it was not a big difference because at the end Louis Zamperini does decide to join, his perseverance and with his brother’s support he does pursue that passion he has and is also very successful with it in both the movie and real life proving that his brother was a person that he could look for support and help, alongside the fact that his brother helped him train for his school too. Another character/person would be Louis Zamperini himself. He was always someone who tried their best and preserver that resulted in his successions. He made a national high school record and qualified for the 1936 Olympics. Both in the movie in real life, there is no difference between the character of Louis Zamperini nor with the people in his life either.

Lastly, the government structure portrayed in the movie compared to in real life at the time were quite similar as well. In the movie, it showed the Japan governments side. Japan was against the USA, Louis Zamperini, when stranded on the raft, was later captured by the Japanese and put into POW camps for both his real life and what was shown in the movie. The POW camps torture prisoners including Louis, the camp later found out that Louis was an Olympian and due to that he was taken away and had an opportunity to live a perfect life but with one exception which was to say some negative things about the Americans in which he refused, also the same between both real life and what happened in the movie. Here you can see that the Japan government wants to use Louis as some type of propaganda or use of defense against the USA. You can see that the structure of how the government works and how they run their POW camps, the use of the soldiers, the type of propaganda and etc. Here there is no difference between the movie and what actually happened. In conclusion, you can see that for the most part, the movie is factually correct when it comes to factors such as historical events, historical characters, and government structure.

The movie is a good historical source as it presents the life of Louis Zamperini in an engaging matter along with being accurate for its historical events, characters, and the government system at the time. The significance of the movie is to show the life of Louis Zamperini. It shows his struggle, journey, hard work and dedication he had with his life. The significance of portraying this specific soldier is that unlike many he was an Olympian but alongside with that he had the love for his country which got him to enlist for the war. Unlike many other, he was quite different a bit which the movie does explain from the main events shown. The main events of the movie are significant and part of the Canadian and World history. One event is when Louis Zamperini and the other soldier stranded on the raft with him get caught after 42 days by a Japan navy. After they are sent to POW camps which they are treated very poorly, abused, and not fed properly. The significance of this is that it shows the treatment of the prisoners or soldiers that would be captured and put into the POW camps. It proves that if you were captured it meant the end because some would not survive and the people who did manage to would be traumatized from the experience. Another main event is when the Japanese find out that Louis Zamperini was an Olympic athlete, which gave them an idea to use him for propaganda. Louis Zamperini had declined to say such rude things about his country which lead him to face even more harsh punishments from the POW camp such as getting punched in the face by every prisoner in the camp. The significance of this is that it shows the patriotism from everyone including the soldiers had for their country. Due to Louis Zamperini’s patriotism, he was willing to give up his life but not a few words against his country. These are some important moments that are significant to Canada’s and the world history.

Unbroken did mainly surround the life and perspective of Louis Zamperini but did have a few other perspectives as well. First, Louis Zamperini’s perspective is shown in the film as it shows his struggle as a soldier, his life including how he becomes an Olympic athlete and how he was a troubled kid. It shows each trial he overcame in life. His experience was pretty tough he was already a troubled kid he had started drinking and smoking from a young age. Then when he got himself engaged in running it became his passion and kept working hard leading him to become an Olympian runner. After when he enlisted for the war he was part of the US air force, his airplane crashed and he was stranded with 2 others on a raft for about 47 days, after that he was captured by the Japanese, which took him to POW camps where he was abused, and not fed properly. Although there were many other POW camp prisoners his experience was different. As he was an Olympian athlete that lead him to have a different experience because at one point that helped him and that turned the opposite direction when he refused to say things against his country. He was also the one person to be picked on by The Bird too, making it even more of a worse experience for him. The second perspective would be Mutsuhiro Watanabe (The Bird), his perspective was also shown in the film, he was one of the POW camps Commander, he was a very affluent person, the POW was under his rules. His perspective is the enemy of US, he hated the US as shown in the movie because he was always so rude to the prisoners, and himself was a nationalist for his country Japan, which did hate the USA. With his job he sees them as weak because as the commander of one of the camps, he is looking to make sure it is operating well, he is also commanding the prisoners of war, in which most of them happen to be American, seeing them and seeing his position made him superior as he knew no one could really do anything about it. He was shown as a cruel person he used to torture everyone at the camp including Louis Zamperini. His perspective is different and unique since it shows the enemy’s point of view. The last main perspective would be Pete Zamperini’s perspective. He was included in the movie, it was not such a big part but was shown. His perspective was shown and related to Louis Zamperini’s. He was the brother of Louis Zamperini, along with being his brother he was the one to let him pursue his dream of running and to never give up. His perspective is different because his perspective was a loved one of a fighting soldier, it shows him being caring and loving towards his brother but at the same time, he doesn’t want him to give up either. His perspective is sort of the home fronts because in the movie it only shows Pete’s role as a loved one of a soldier but not a soldier himself. It shows him at one part being concerned if he is okay or not, his perspective is from the homefront as he is at home with his family wishing for the best for his brother. Other than that it does not show is a role at homefront his jobs, or how he is helping out. Those are the main perspectives of the movie.

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Causes and consequences include many of the main events. First, the plane crash which is a cause, the plane crashing leads to Louis Zamperini and two others to rescue themselves, leaving them on a raft for 47 days which is also another cause. On the last day, they are later captured by the Japanese which take them to POW camps, another cause. Consequences come after, due to them getting captured and sent to POW camps, they have to deal with abuse, torture, little to no sanitation, and they were poorly fed these are all short term consequences. Long term consequences include that due to these short term consequences many people’s lives were taken away due to these poor conditions. Another long term consequence that comes along with that is the soldiers that did manage to come out alive including Louis Zamperini forgetting or overcoming those harsh memories would be difficult. Another long term consequence is that after living in unsanitary environments, with them tortured getting injured, impacting their health  With the number of diseases they could’ve got from not showering for days, along with having open wounds a passage for infection to get into their bodies. On top of that, they would not have been provided with health care either. One other long term consequence is them not being fed properly, along with poor health they also had to suffer from malnutrition, due to this soldiers will lose a lot of weight and it increases the chances more of getting a disease or illness. Last long term consequence is the soldiers having to work in harsh working conditions, labor work for long periods of time during the day, adding on the fact without proper meals, this would lead to tiredness quicker and would give the Japanese another reason to abuse them (not for completing their task). In conclusion, these are the causes and consequences of this movie.

Main themes that would differ or stay the same from the beginning of the movie to the end. One theme is the treatment of the Americans from the Japanese. As you know during WW2 the Japanese and Americans were enemies, being so they hated each other. The POW camps which the American soldiers were in, had harsh conditions as stated before, the treatment received from the Japanese was not pleasant, abuse from them it was shown in the movie when the first introduced the camp that Louis Zamperini was getting abused for just have glanced at The Bird, showing that they did not show any tolerance with them. This theme has pretty much remained the same throughout the movie till the very end until the war was over, the Japanese had no other choice but to release them since now they had no right to do so. Another theme shown in the movie is Japan’s power. For the most part, you can see that Japan, when it came to the POW camps, they had no mercy for any of the soldiers they were plain on brutal with them. Alongside they would use soldiers that would stand out (a soldier that was well known) such as Louis Zamperini who was an Olympian to show the Americans their power. They had broadcasted him in order to show them that they had him captured as well, they even tried making him say a couple of things against the American government but Louis Zamperini had refused due to his patriotism for his country. This theme also remained the same throughout the movie until again after the war ended where they were not able to do anything then. One last theme in the movie is the courage/patriotism of a soldier. Here Louis Zamperini had faced many challenges in his life one being stranded on a raft, he did not give up and had faith in God that he would get out. In the camp as well when he was weak from all his sufferings in the camp, one scene showed The Bird making him hold a piece of wood over his head and if he let go they would shoot him, Louis did not give up and managed to hold it for a long enough time that The Bird got mad and pushed him instead. Here you can see the courage/patriotism of Louis Zamperini. These are the main themes in the movie.

In conclusion, I believe that the movie Unbroken is a good historical source as contains information/events that are for the most part accurate due to the major events of the film, the characters, and historical government system. For the most part, many things were similar to the parts that Louis Zamperini making it to the Olympics, and breaking a national high school record with his brother’s supports. Along with him surviving 47 days on a raft, with him surviving the cruel and harsh conditions of a POW camp, in which all the things I have stated are completely true from the movie to what actually happened in real life sources say. A history student should use it if they want to know more about Louis Zamperini and his life when it comes to topics such as WW2, and, seeing the conditions of POW specifically in Japan. Most of the information in the movie is true, sources prove so a history student does choose to see this, they would not be misled but be getting accurate information.

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