“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is well worth seeing

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

Unbroken image from imdb"Unbroken: Path to Redemption" is a stirring film, which touches the emotions and offers hope at the same time. Based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, and the true story of Louis Zamperini, the film powerfully tells the story of the former Olympian who lands back in America after he is freed from being a P.O.W. This sequel to "Unbroken" picks up where that film left off, with this one focusing on Zamperini's salvation, following his battle with alcohol and his bitterness toward the Japanese prison guard who beat him while he was incarcerated. This faith-based film definitely focuses on the spiritual life of Zamperini, much more so than the first film. And it features Billy Graham's grandson, Will Graham, as the world renowned evangelist, Billy. Zamperini's life changes when he attends an L.A. tent meeting held by Graham. His wife, Cynthia, a Christian, keeps at Zamperini to attend. His drinking is destroying his family life, including putting a damper on the birth of his first child. So, after Cynthia's unflagging perseverance in urging Louis to attend, he finally caves in and does. In a dramatic moment in the film Zamperini is literally walking out of the meeting when Dr. Graham himself tells him there is no running from God.


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The movie successfully engages the audience in this story of Zamperini's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that so many soldiers returning from war battle with. If I have one quibble with the film, it is that the drinking scenes of Zamperini go on for too long. It is well established he is an alcoholic long before they finally get to his moment of redemption. Still, the ugliness and realities of a drinking problem are definitely and accurately portrayed in the film. And his ultimate confession of faith in Christ is grippingly dramatic as a totally-changed man is seen on screen. His nightmares and addiction give way to ultimate grace and peace.

Actor Samuel Hunt passionately plays all the nuances of this addicted character, Louis Zamperini, so well, as does the actress that plays his wife, Merritt Patterson. Their subtle and convincing acting goes a long way in providing a stark realism to the story in the film.

I would recommend this film for ages twelve and above. It is not overly graphic or gratuitous but it does feature the torture and beating of Zamperini in a few scenes, not to mention his constant drinking toward the end of the film until his moment of redemption. His wife's enduring love and hope for her husband are powerful components in an equally powerful movie.
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Author Information
Edwin L. Carpenter
Edwin L. Carpenter is a pastor and long-time film reviewer for Dove.org He has a bachelors degree in Writing from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was raised in Brighton, Mich., by Christian grandparents and has a twin brother, Bill, who is also an ordained minister. Ed and his wife Jackie have one child, Daniel, who is newly married to Kristen and loves sports.

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