|Louis Zamperini and his wife|
On the Tuesday after Christmas I finally got to see the movie Unbroken about the legitimate American hero Louis Zamperini. If you have any doubt that the left has nothing but contempt for America and it's traditional values, then I suggest you read Dr. Sari Edelstein's movie review of Unbroken. Dr. Edelstein is a professor at the University of Massachusetts / Boston. Her areas of expertise are 19th Century American Literature and Culture; Women Writers; History of Journalism; Age Studies; Print Culture Studies; Feminist and get this, Queer Theory. Surprisingly whenever I would recommend the movie to people they would tell me that the movie has gotten bad reviews and they weren't planning to see it. Like The Passion of the Christ, I believe the bad reviews are coming because of the subject matter of the movie rather than any artistic shortcomings. In my opinion Passion of the Christ should have received Oscar's. So should Unbroken. The following are excerpts from Dr. Edelsteins review. The title of her article is the "The (Un) fortunate Timing Of Unbroken". Her review starts out innocent enough relating how Unbroken was the top grossing film on it's opening day which was Christmas. She then describes what the movie was about. After that her analysis of the movie goes straight down hill. The following is her words. I hate to put you through this but her words reveal the extent of her hatred for this country. Her hatred for Christianity and the traditional values that Louis Zamperini epitomised.
"But the movie might better be described as a tale of relentless torture and trauma, as Zamperini endures ritualistic beatings, starvation and various other physical and emotional abuses. “Unbroken” is a masochistic movie-going experience, far from the feel-good fare one typically expects of the holiday season, but eerily resonant in a political climate dominated by news of abuses of power from local to international levels of American law enforcement. In one scene, Zamperini is forced to hold a wooden beam over his head, threatened that he will be shot if he drops it. The image of his gaunt torso and outstretched arms, reminiscent of a scene from “Twelve Years a Slave,” is blatantly Christ-like, and indeed, the film is very much a conversion narrative; Zamperini became devoutly Christian after his return to the United States".
More than Christianity though, the film’s dominant ideology is American exceptionalism, or what Hollywood likes to call patriotism. Zamperini’s story — the rise from a hard-working Italian American family to Olympic track star to war hero — is a familiar narrative of individualist ascent. Indeed, Zamperini’s embrace of America is so complete that when given the chance to make a radio broadcast in exchange for food and an end to his abuse, he refuses to make anti-American announcements on the air. He is subsequently returned to the camp for even more intense torture.
At the film’s conclusion, Zamperini kisses the ground when his plane finally lands on American soil. We are asked to feel relief that he has at long last returned to a humane state, a nation that fights against fascists and war criminals.
But it is difficult to swallow this easy binary between American freedom and totalitarian abuses when the film’s release occurred just weeks after the disclosure of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, which detailed the horrific techniques used against prisoners at the U.S. Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Senate report describes how prisoners are forced to stand for hours, deprived of sleep for days, and assaulted with harsh lights and loud music, along with other assaults to body and mind that are every bit as gruesome as those depicted in “Unbroken.”
“You are enemies of Japan,” the Japanese guard known as “the Bird” repeatedly tells the POWs. The film works to demonize and orientalize “the Bird” as a pathological villain: his favored method of abuse is his bamboo cane, an implement that shores up his status as supremely Other. The characterization of “the Bird” fosters the underlying premise that he is a symbol of what we are fighting against in the name of freedom and democracy.
Unlike Zamperini and his fellow military combatants, many of the prisoners at Guantanamo are not convicted enemies of the United States. Angelina Jolie, the film’s director, is a vocal opponent of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that the Senate report details, so perhaps rather than view “Unbroken” as a saccharine love letter to America, we might consider it in the tradition of the American jeremiad, a sermon that laments the current state of society and calls for a return to intention and ideals.As families sit in multiplexes, white-knuckling it for the film’s relentless two hour duration, it behooves us to remember that torture is not the way of other countries or other times; it is in fact the American way now. Zamperini may have been “unbroken,” but the closing credits note that he endured years of severe post-traumatic stress disorder. In other words, there were lasting and unspecified physical and emotional consequences for the torturous treatment he received. We might see “Unbroken” not merely as a celebration of one man’s spirit but as a reminder of how far we have fallen from our ideals, a call to be a nation that respects all human rights even and especially in times of war.
This woman complains about torture but it is torture for any patriotic American to read this garbage. From a spiritual standpoint I can explain this woman's hostility to Christianity by Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Like a good leftist she see's nothing exceptional about this country. I imagine Louis Zamperini is not the first person to get off a boat or a plane and kiss the soil of America. Every time I returned to this country from abroad, no matter if I was only gone for two weeks, I felt like kissing the ground. It is funny but I don't know that many people busting down the doors of Japan, Russia, Venezuela or Zimbabwe or any other country in the world, like they do trying to get into America. I can't recall any other country that declared in writing that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Just by it's very existence this country has enriched the entire world.
Yes I can tell you about the many atrocities that some Americans have committed against others over the years and yes they were horrible. Unbelievably Edelstein draws a moral equivalency with what the C.I.A. did to three Muslim extremists captured after September 11, and what the Japanese did to thousands of allied soldiers in World War Two. Hundreds of reporters have voluntarily been waterboarded just to see what it is like. I challenge any of those same reporters to go through just one hour of what Louis Zamperini went through. Japanese, German and Italian prisoners of war were treated in accordance with Geneva convention rules. The vast majority of prisoners left at the end of the war with positive feelings for America. Many Germans returned and settled here after the war. It is not necessary for me to go into a long drawn out argument to establish the fact that America is exceptional. Every real American knows that. It is self evident. It is also self evident that the religious conversion that Zamperini experienced was miraculous. God took a heart filled with hate and changed it to his glory. There were many Japanese like Commander Fuchida who led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fuchida also experienced this miracle when he met a man who survived the horrors of the Bataan Death March. The man came back to Japan and preached the love of Jesus Christ to him. Fuchida became a lifelong Christian and a Baptist minister. As far as Sari Edelstein is concerned, there are none so blind as he who will not see.
|Zamperini checking battle damage on his B-24|
|Zamperini as a POW|
|From the movie Unbroken|
|Louie with the flag that he stole from Hitler|
|Japanese POW's playing baseball in an Allied camp during the war|
|A typical room for German POW's in America|