Excitement abounds in movie theaters showing UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION. The film, which tells the rest of Louis Zamperini’s incredible true story of forgiveness and grace, received an “A” from audiences via CinemaScore.
Among the many special events around the movie’s release, Fresno, California hosted a red-carpet showing of the movie. Guests included Samuel Hunt, who plays Louie in the movie; producer Matt Baer; and Luke Zamperini, the son of Louie and Cynthia.
Watch this Fresno-event video, which features the Switchfoot song from the movie, “You Found Me.” And be sure to see UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION this week!
Louis Zamperini’s unbelievable life has spans not one, but TWO movies. Movie audiences have given UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION an “A” via CinemaScore.
Before you head to your local movie theater to see the rest of Louie’s story, be sure to check out this great video blog. Luke Zamperini, the son of Louie and Cynthia, shares the story of the souvenir Louie brought home from the 1936 Olympic in Berlin.
Take a minute to watch and then go see UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION today!
September 10, 2018 / unbrokenusr / Comments Off on Lessons from Billy Graham: What I Learned Portraying My Grandfather in UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION
In 2014, Angelina Jolie directed an award-winning film called Unbroken. It tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent turned Olympian and war hero. After Louis’ WWII plane crashed in the Pacific, he floated at sea for 47 days before being captured and ruthlessly tortured by the Japanese. He survived unimaginable atrocities and starvation, finally making it home to his family after the war.
That was where Unbroken ended, and it was a great high point. But that’s not where Louis Zamperini’s story ended. In fact, the struggles were just beginning.
After returning home, Louis’ life looked great on the outside. He was a celebrity, he married a woman whom he dearly loved, and they had a beautiful little baby. On the inside, however, Louis was sinking into a dark well of despair. He suffered from what we now know as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), was haunted by nightmares, was on the verge of divorce, and had become an alcoholic.
He had survived the ruthlessness of war, but was now on the road to destruction in peacetime.
This second part of Louis’ story is being told in the Universal Studios film UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION, slated for nationwide theater release on September 14. In it, we witness Louis in all of his heartache and pain, but we also get a glimpse of the answer to his struggles.
You see, Louis only found true and lasting peace when he surrendered his life to Christ at my grandfather’s historic 1949 Los Angeles Crusade. After beginning a relationship with Jesus, Louis never had another nightmare, never took another sip of alcohol, and his marriage was restored.
Early last year I was approached with the unique and unexpected opportunity to portray my grandfather in the film. I’m not an actor, but I prayerfully decided to accept this role. It was a nerve-wracking experience that took me far out of my comfort zone, but it was also an incredible blessing.
The biggest impact for me came from deeply studying my grandfather in preparing for the role, immersing myself in his early sermons.
First, I was reminded of my grandfather’s deep love for—and reliance upon—the Bible. He quoted scripture repeatedly and at length throughout his messages. His most commonly used phrase was “The Bible says. …” He knew that the Bible was the divine, powerful, living Word of God, and it pierced the hearts of those hearing it.
Second, my grandfather preached with a sense of urgency. He knew that heaven and hell hung in the balance. Decisions made in that massive tent on the corner of Hill and Washington streets in Los Angeles would not only affect lives, but eternities as well.
Third, my grandfather didn’t just ask people to respond to the Good News of Christ. He commanded them with an authority that could come only from God. “This may be your only chance. Come now!” he would call out. Of course, those in the audience had the free will to walk forward or not, but my grandfather made it very clear that this was their opportunity to begin a new life with Jesus.
Looking back on it, we now know that Louis Zamperini was one of those who responded to the call, and he was radically changed and saved. That was 1949, but today there are just as many—if not more—people like Louis out there. People who are lost and struggling, who have no hope or peace.
Will you be like my grandfather, holding tight to the Scripture as you share the hope that you have with urgency and authority? I’m committed to doing so, and I hope you will too.
The new movie UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION opens in theaters this Friday. In this new movie that continues the true story of Louis Zamperini, we see him return home from the war and begin training in a quest to return to the Olympics.
In the latest installment of Luke Zamperini’s video blog, Louie’s son tells the story of his father’s first trip to the Olympics, the 1936 Berlin Games.
As always with Louie, this true story is incredible!
Make sure you see the rest of Louie’s amazing story when UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION opens this Friday in theaters this weekend!
This powerful video comes from the 2011 SoCal Harvest event at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. Pastor Greg Laurie invited Louis Zamperini to share his life story with the throng of people there.
Be ready to be inspired … and then be sure to see the rest of Louie’s incredible story when UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION opens in theaters September 14.
In the latest installment of “My Dad’s Unbroken Legacy” video blog, Luke Zamperini gives us insider info as to how Louie was able to recall for author Laura Hillenbrand so much of what had occurred at the Japanese prison camp.
It turns out Louie, along with many other prisoners, had secret diaries that they kept. Learn more about this practice and discover some of the content from Louie’s diary!
It took one amazing lifetime to live it. It took Laura Hillenbrand years to research and write about. But the day after he died in 2014, Louis Zamperini’s life was captured in a New York Times obituary. In part, it reads:
“When he returned to the United States after the war and his ordeals at sea and as a prisoner, he fell into alcoholism and nearly ended up divorced from his wife, Cynthia. They remained married, however, for a total of 54 years until her death in 2001. His survivors include a son, Luke; a daughter, Cynthia Garris; and a grandchild.
Mr. Zamperini straightened out his life, he said, after hearing a sermon preached by Billy Graham. For years afterward, he worked in commercial real estate and remained physically active into his 90s, skiing, running, mountain climbing and skateboarding. He was prominent on the lecture circuit.”
The Atlantic magazine ran an interesting piece after Louis Zamperini’s death in 2014: an interview with the World War II hero himself. To read Louie’s words provides his take on some of the key moments that are at the heart of UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION—including Louie listening to Billy Graham preach in 1949.
“The one thing he said that shook me up was, ‘When people come to the end of their rope and there’s nowhere else to turn, they turn to God.’ I thought, That’s what I did on the raft. All I did was pray to God, every day. In prison camp, the main prayer was, ‘Get me home alive, God, and I’ll seek you and serve you.’ I came home, got wrapped up in the celebration, and forgot about the hundreds of promises I’d made to God.”