The Gospel is what made the original story behind the Angela Jolie Unbroken movie so amazing.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the most influential human Who ever lived. How absurd to celebrate a birthday, and completely neglect the One whose birth is being marked–yet that’s what the vast majority of people who exchanged gifts once again this year did.
This movie review displays the same impulse again… Louis Zamperini’s story means nothing without the transformation Jesus made in his life. Yet Angelina Jolie felt that central element needed to be excised from her rendition of Zamperini’s life.
Katherine Makinney writes a long guest post in the Hollywood in Toto blog: “The ‘Unbroken’ Story Angelina Jolie Left Behind.”
What was really missing? The third act, the part of his story that moves people to tears. Jolie left the very heart of this man’s life out of the movie. It’s forgivable that none of the reviewers quite understood *what* exactly it was that seemed missing but clearly “something” was. But it’s a shame the *story teller* missed THE STORY.
Zamperini’s story is not one of surviving against all odds. That is a story that has been told and it is a sad but true fact that many extraordinary men and women are tortured and survive.
What is unique is being a victim of extreme injustice and physical torture, being eaten inside by understandable rage and turning to alcohol. But instead of continuing that course in life, Zamperini turned to Jesus Christ and let go of the desire for revenge and fully forgave his tormentors.
That is what made Zamperini live not just a triumphant life, but an abundant one, dying earlier this year after 55 years of marriage, two children and a grandchild at the ripe age of 97. Not to mention becoming the subject of a four-year running NY Times bestselling book.
Why does Jesus make us so uncomfortable? It’s not because He healed or fed people; it’s not because he talked about the necessity to love one another; It’s because Jesus claimed (and backed up his claim) to be God in human flesh, giving His life for our sins.
The life and work of Jesus screams that nothing we could ever do will make us acceptable to God, nor will remove our offenses against a holy Creator. Jesus says we are nothing but condemned criminals without Him, and for that reason He must be censored, mocked, trivialized, and ignored.
Yet still He stands, ready to forgive His enemies—ready to forgive you and me—just as Zamperini amazingly did for those who tortured him.
Without Jesus, there is no story.
Without Jesus, we have no hope.
Without Jesus, we’re flat-out broken… like Angelina Jolie and her movie.