Thursday, December 18, 2014

Franklin Graham on Movie "Unbroken"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Franklin says, "Angelina Jolie did an incredible job with the film 'Unbroken,' but unfortunately stopped at chapter 33, leaving out the most important part of the book."

Why was chapter 33 left out?

Earlier this year an article in the Los Angeles Times, which chronicles the development of the film, said, after much consideration, the film storyline "came to Jolie at 2 AM in Cambodia."

She came home, met with chairman of Universal Pictures Donna Langley, shared her vision explaining to Universal that "she would not include the part about Louis Zamperini's alcoholism and the Billy Graham inspired religious conversion."

That's chapter 33 in the New York Times bestselling story about the life of Louis Zamperini.

Franklin says that's the most import part because it is the part of his life when he was truly set free.

Here's the part America won't see in the movie because Jolie promised Universal she would leave it out.

After returning from the war and his torturous experiences, Louis Zamperini began drinking heavily.

He was understandably tormented by nightmares.

He became alienated from his wife---she had decided to divorce him until she went to hear Billy Graham speak in a tent in downtown Los Angeles.

After hearing Graham, Zamperini's wife decided to stay married to him. And she convinced her husband to go hear him speak for himself.

The first time Zamperini heard Billy Graham, Franklin says, he "didn't like hearing someone say he was a sinner."

But a few days later, a broken Zamperini went back to hear Graham speak again.

Franklin describes it like this:

"And when my father gave the invitation for people to put their faith and trust in Christ, instead of running out of the tent, he went forward. And his life was so dramatically changed. He went home that night, got rid of his pornography, he got rid of his alcohol, he threw his cigarettes away. He found his Bible that was given to him in the military, and he began to read and study the Bible, and his life was transformed instantly that day and it stayed with him the rest of his life. He never turned from what he had put his faith and trust in, and that was Jesus Christ."

Franklin says "not only was his life changed, but his nightmares and headaches stopped immediately."

"And," Franklin says, "he was able to go back to Japan a few years later, and confront the men who had tormented him there in prison---and he was able to forgive them for what they did to him."

Graham says he is so "sorry that tremendous story of forgiveness was left out" of the movie.

In fact,  because he feels it is the "most" important part of the story, the Billy Graham Association, which he now heads up, is releasing a documentary on Christmas Day called "Louis Zamperini: Captured By Grace."

The Graham documentary includes recent interview footage of Zamperini sharing this part of his story in his own words. He says, "The heart of the story is when I found Christ as my Savior---that's the heart of my whole life."

Zamperini died a few months ago. He had met with Billy Graham several times over the years, including when these interviews were filmed in 2011 at Billy's home in Montreat, N.C.

Zamperini, who was 94, also signed copies of the New York Times bestselling book, "Unbroken" while at the Billy Graham Library.

He had also shared his personal testimony at Billy Graham Crusades in San Francisco in 1958 and Los Angeles in 1963.

While Jolie promised Universal to leave out what Zamperini called "the most important part" of his life, Franklin is making no such promises. He's removing the proverbial "bushel" and letting the light shine.

Be Informed. Be Blessed.