Angelina Jolie, director of the new film Unbroken, set to be released on Christmas Day in the United States, said in a recent interview that the film is aimed both at people who are of faith and those who are not.
The film is based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand entitled Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which documents the life of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner who was held captive by the Japanese during the war.
In an interview with Movie Guide’s Evy Baehr, Jolie was asked why the themes of faith and forgiveness, which run throughout the movie, are so important for society today. Jolie answered:
“I think it’s anything that helps pulls you through. We have so much in the world today that people are disheartened by. We have so many open-ended conflicts, so many people displaced from conflicts. So many victims of abuse or poverty. And so many reasons to feel hopeless or broken.
“And I think we are all searching for what is it that’s going to pull us through. It’s a decision we make and it’s how we support each other and it’s how we live our lives. And this film speaks of that. It speaks of how to overcome, how to face obstacles, and, when you go through hard times, I think, it’s not a blind forgiveness, I don’t believe in, but I think when there is justice and when you know that the hatred is actually damaging you, it’s actually part of your survival to forgive.”
Baehr went on to ask Jolie how she hoped to reach people in the faith community with the film. Jolie pointed out that “Louie’s story is very connected to them already.”
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“Faith is very present in our film,” she said. “And we decided it wasn’t just in a chapter. It’s from the beginning. It’s through the entire film. From the little boy looking at Jesus on the cross and wondering what it all means, to the man in the end that understands the message of forgiveness…And we tried to do it in a way that would speak to people of faith, but would also speak to people who were not faith-based people. Something relatable.”