Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ to run in Japan despite nationalist backlash


Angelina Jolie’s wartime-based movie “Unbroken” will finally be shown in Japan over a year after its release despite attempts from nationalists who blasted it as racist to prevent it being screened, a distributor said Thursday.

The film, directed by Jolie, which depicts an American prisoner of war being tortured by a sadistic Japanese guard, is set to hit screens in February, beginning in Tokyo before being shown in other locations nationwide.

“Unbroken” is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller and tells the story of American Olympic athlete and Army Air Forces crewman Louis Zamperini, who was captured by Japanese soldiers after his bomber crashed in the Pacific in 1943.

The movie was released in the United States and other countries last December.

Scenes of Zamperini being tortured and starved provoked anger among Japanese right-wingers, who described it as racist and anti-Japanese.

Yuji Sadai, head of distributors Bitters End, told the Kyodo news agency that he wants Japanese movie-goers to watch the film, which he said “depicts human beings under the conditions of war.”

Japanese posters promoting the movie describe it as a true story of a “man who survived two years of hell in a prison camp.

Previously, cinemas in Japan initially ditched plans to screen “The Cove,” an award-winning 2009 documentary film about the annual dolphin hunt in the town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, after threats by fishing industry supporters, before it was eventually shown.

  • Paul Martin

    It’s a necessary film to show today’s Japanese generation the terrible misdeeds of their parents and grandparents !

    The veritas of Japanese brutality during WW2 has long been camouflaged and history stifled or re-written to prevent younger Japanese discovering the truths and facts !

    “Truth conquers all things”

    He recognizes that by himself he cannot restore all truth but vows at least not to be truth’s enemy. The world may run on in its usual way, but as for himself, he would rather die than betray truth. “He who speaks the truth, will have his head broken. He who fears death, loses the joy of life. Truth conquers all things. He conquers who dies, for no adversity will harm him—if he is not dominated by iniquity.”

    Jan Hus 1413

    • Sandro Noda

      Why Americans are so hypocritical?

      Only the Japanese committed crimes in this war?

      Nothing that the Japanese have done against American prisoners is comparable to what the Americans did in all their wars.

      • MagicalP

        ^ Classic logical fallacy that dodges the issue being discussed by trying to change the subject.

        Relax, buddy! We can all reminisce about our countries terrible actions during wartime together! :D

  • Wayne

    Yep, telling the truth is racist.

    • Steve Jackman

      It is in Japan.

    • Steve Jackman

      It is in Japan.

  • Raansu

    Racist? Come on now Japan. I love you all and everything and even lived there for two years and had an amazing time, but if you all wanna be part of a global community and call everyone racist then you all need to start being aware of your own racism.