I watched the movie adaptation of Unbroken the other day. It gets the gist of the biography about Louie Zamperini’s life as an Olympic runner and World War II POW, but it doesn’t come close to capturing the depth. The whole time I kept thinking how it was described better in the book, which I feel is easy to say for most movie adaptations, but for something as weighty as a man’s incredible life story it felt imperative to express. For anyone who hasn’t read the book, you’re missing out!
The page length of Laura Hillenbrand’s biography is daunting. I had to put it aside a few times when I was hit with emotion and realized there was so much more for Zamperini to live through. I would recommend listening to it on audiobook, maybe on a long car ride or road trip. Soak in some history, because the facts that Hillenbrand finds about life in general range from whimsical to heart-wrenching, and all around fascinating.
I was sad to hear Zamperini died last year before the movie premiered. But I’m glad he lived such a long life (97!) and worked with two women (Hillenbrand and Angelina Jolie) who brought his story to such a wide audience. In the end, though I think the movie could have been better, I’m glad that it got the story across for people to see.