Angelina Jolie Angers Japan With Powerful New War Film

Angelina Jolie directed her second movie and is looking to release it come Christmas. But some in Japan will having nothing of it.

Angelina Jolie

‘Unbroken,’ Angelina Jolie’s second film as director, is igniting controversy ahead of its release. (Image: “Jolie” by Stefan Servos – See below. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Unbroken depicts the life and trials of Louis Zamperini, a phenomenal runner who later joined the United States military. After surviving a plane crash and seven weeks stranded at sea, he was taken as a prisoner of war. The film shows his experience in the prison camps, the harsh treatment he received, and a particularly menacing Japanese prison guard.

Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini inspects a damaged plane as a member of the United States Army Air Forces. (Image: “ZamperiniAndSuperMan” by Unknown – http://ww2db.com/images/person_zamperini4.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Many years later, Zamperini decided to forgive. He’s been back to Japan to meet his former tormentors and forgive them in person. He even held the Olympic torch in Japan during the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Though he’s reached out to many, his main tormentor, a man known as “The Bird,” refused to see him.

Mutsuhiro 'The Bird' Watanabe

Mutsuhiro ‘The Bird’ Watanabe, a notoriously harsh prison guard of the Imperial Japanese Army. (Image: “Mutsuhiro Watanabe” by Fair use of historical photo taken from Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand, 2010. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

In Japan, some are working to stifle the film’s release. They claim it falsifies what really happened and makes Japan look bad. The film comes after a 2010 book of the same name depicted even more egregious atrocities.

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