Have you ever a watched movie that changed something in how you think about life? Have you been looking for a place to get quality movies to watch with your family? Thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew we have had the opportunity to learn about FishFlix.com, a website devoted to “Christian Movies to Inspire and Entertain.” We have been reviewing the Unbroken Legacy of Faith Edition. This 2 DVD set has the not rated version of the movie Unbroken, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, about the life of Louie Zamperini, along with a bonus feature The Real Life of Louie Zamperini on one disc, and over 90 minutes of bonus features on the second disc that share the faith story behind the movie Unbroken.
If you haven’t heard about the movie Unbroken, it follows Louie Zamperini’s life from his troubled childhood to High School and Olympic track star, and on through WWII as first a Army Air Corp Bombardier then a POW in a Japanese prison camp, through a series of flashbacks. Louie’s life is amazing in the twists and turns that God allows that draw Louie to Christ. The theatre version was rated PG-13, but the DVD we received in the Legacy of Faith Edition is unrated. The movie should be previewed by parents before watching with your children under 15. Unbroken shares the harsh realities of Japanese POW camps during WWII and the deplorable conditions and treatment the POW’s endured. This two hour and 18 minute movie is intense. Our girls (15 & 17) watched it with me. Though we all learned so much about Louie Zamperini’s life, and WWII, both girls said to include in our review that parents really need to watch it all the way through before sharing it with their children.
The movie disc also has a feature The Real Life of Louie Zamperini, which runs almost 30 minutes and features interviews with Louie, his children, Laura Hillenbrand, and others. This feature focuses on telling more of the facts of Louie’s life from the Olympics through his death that were not covered during the movie. This feature is safe to watch with all of the family, even the little children.
As impactful as the movie is, the second disc may be even more so. The Legacy of Faith Edition disc contains over 90 minutes of bonus content in several sections. There is a CBN interview with Louie, a message from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association with Louie, and an almost hour-long interview between Louie Zamperini and Pastor Greg Laurie. During the Louie and Laurie interview, Pastor Laurie asks Louie questions that center on the sections of the Unbroken movie and the faith and trials behind each part. Louie shares from his heart about the things he did right and wrong in his life. He then shares about how God got ahold of his life during the Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles. Billy Graham shared the message of the cross, forgiveness, and salvation. At first Louie walked away mad, but returned on a later night where he gave his life to Christ and the real miracle of his life began.
My favorite bonus feature was the one from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (Captured By Grace,) that allows Louie to tell you in his own words about his life. It tells the story from both the view of Billy Graham at his first major crusade in Los Angeles, and from the perspective of Louie as a heartbroken, traumatized war veteran, who suffered daily nightmares because of the torture he endured in the POW camp. Louie was a sinner who met his Savior under that tent. Christ changed his life completely.
Each of the features on this disc should be ok to watch with your family of various ages. I was amazed to learn how Louie returned to Japan after receiving Christ as Savior and shared his faith with the prison guards he had suffered under at the POW camp. Those men were at Sugamo Prison for war crimes when Louie went with his message of forgiveness. He forgave them and told them about Jesus.
Overall, I heartily recommend this 2 DVD set, that currently retails for $19.97, for your family. While watching the Unbroken movie and seeing the emaciated bodies of POW’s and the torture they received may not be something you want to watch over and over again, it will open your eyes and your heart in a new way. To hear and see how truly horrific the POW camps were added another layer to my understanding of how God never leaves us, and showed me how He was guarding and guiding Louie to Himself all the way until that day under the tent at the Billy Graham crusade. All of the bonus features will be watched over and again here at our house. They remind us of God’s faithfulness and mercy.
The life of Louie Zamperini was amazing. Louie died on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97. After surviving 47 days on a life raft, two years in a POW camp, and years of struggle with PTSD induced nightmares, God changed Louie’s life for eternity when he accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. Louie skateboarded until he was 81, and skied until he was 91. He took that gift of salvation and led a life devoted to giving to others.
My favorite quote from Louie’s interviews is “you have to be charitable to the end.” Am I being charitable, am I being loving, to the end of my life? Each time I watch this 2 DVD set from FishFlix.com I will be reminded of Louie’s life and what it means to be Captured By Grace.