• oui

    In an interview, Louis addressed the question of the lack of Christianity being portrayed simply:
    If they want to know more, they can read the book. It’s all in the book.

    By the book, he meant Hillenbrand’s book.

    He fully understood that to reach as wide an audience as possible, some things are “necessary evil”, but he believed that “all things work together for good”–be it falling and breaking his hip, or having the film lead people to the book that will lead people to Christ.

    I happen to agree. There are many things that are not portrayed in the film. They would need to make a trilogy or tetralogy to rival Narnia series to cover everything. If people are genuinely curious they will look for the book.

    Afterall, we are People of the Book , not People of the Cellulose.

  • Larry

    To paraphrase Louis P. Mayer, “If you want a sermon, go to a church”.

    The primary role of a Hollywood feature film, even one based on fact, is to entertain. This is not a documentary or even a biopic. Liberties will be taken in the interest of time, keeping audience attention and dramatic effect. The story of surviving the degradation of being adrift at sea and a prisoner of the Japanese is what will draw the audiences and keep their attention.

  • Larry Meza

    I will watch this movie and I am sure I will love it. But to ignore the central fact that transformed this man’s life and was the basis of his forgiveness which is also the basis of the movie seems very biased and short sighted.

    Granted it does take a great deal of skill and art not to make a movie like that a “message movie” or preachy, but it can be done. Chariots of Fire is one of the very best examples I can think of.

  • mtm

    Fairly sure that, no matter how much faith was portrayed, the faithful would have felt betrayed. It’s one of the bennies of being a Christian!

  • The Great God Pan

    I saw a trailer for this movie a few months ago that seemed pretty Christian to me. I was actually surpised when Jolie’s name came up at the end, because it seemed like a “God’s Not Dead” type evangelical movie.

    The new trailers are Christianity-free but the movie still looks pretty corny. The screenplay is supposedly by the Coen Brothers! I wonder how much they got paid to write lines like, “If i can take it I can make it.” Maybe the whole script is cobbled together from slogans they saw on t-shirts at the gym….

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  • Neon Genesis

    Leaving out key details of a person’s life isn’t just a problem with Christian based films but is a problem with the biopic genre in general and why I usually don’t bother to watch them. The Charles Darwin biopic “Creation” was almost 90% fiction too and also got a lot of complaints for its historical inaccuracies. I’ve learned a long time ago not to depend on Hollywood for historical reliability.

  • John Virgilio

    How do you KNOW that? Have you experienced everyone’s experiences? To know there is no God, you have to have ALL knowledge. Pascal said He is the God who hides. This comes from Isaiah 59 where it is shown, because of our sins, He hides. The honest thing you can do is say He hasn’t revealed Himself to me yet, if there is a God.

  • John Virgilio

    I’m fairly sure that’s not true. I don’t feel betrayed by what I’ve read about it so far. However, the story seems like it could have been a bit fuller in touching the reasons for the heart of the matter. He revealed Himself to me in many evidential, and powerful spiritual ways. (The Biblical prophetic proof, the witness of the resurrection, the inner witness of His Spirit, and amazing true visions… I’m the exception in that regard.)
    To not mention the names of Jesus and Billy Graham falls short of an important detail in portraying a true story and would have only enhanced the art in my estimation. But I think many will get the idea nonetheless.

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  • John Virgilio

    What if that is exactly what he said? Would you have them change it to something poetic, or clever? Perhaps if you’re suffering in a concentration camp and say something as basic as that, it helps you through well enough. I imagine Shakespeare would have had a hard time writing in a situation like that.

  • Larry

    As an aside, IMO Chariots of Fire was one of the worst “Best Pictures” of all time. 2 minutes of iconic cinematography followed by 122 minutes of British Oscarbaiting.

    One of the few films I can think of which tops that status would be Cavalcade, out of all the great films from 1932-33, that one will never rank among them. The best picture nobody remembers or bothers seeing.

  • Jogrinder

    Yeah Clara, when I think about all those fictional children and families Mother Teresa loved and helped, or the fictional leadership inspired by God through Martin Luther King, or the thousands of fictional Christian hospitals, schools, feeding kitchens, and shelters throughout the world, I’ll bet it pales in comparison to the “real” benefits you personally have bestowed upon mankind. Certainly the film industry has improved the world much more than all those fictional good things Christianity specifically, and religion in a more general sense, right Clara?

  • jeff fisher

    i’m glad i’m not the only one that noticed that.

  • Kevin

    I’ve just started the 9th chapter of the book, having received no hint that the premise of this book relies on a Christian message. In fact, this story is so immersive and extraordinary, I wouldn’t give merit to someone thinking that the storytelling somehow suffers by leaving out this particular dynamic. Zamperini could have been an atheist and this story would still be remarkable. I have no idea why anyone would argue differently. This is completely a non-issue unless you like getting wrapped up in unnecessary disappointment over trying to spot your religion in everything.

  • jeff fisher

    I hear you. Take a movie like Secretariat that, at the end credits, inserted a completely out of all context song about a happy day and Jesus taking my sins away. It was like, “WTF?” I must have missed something from the movie. It seemed like an afterthought because there was nothing in the movie about sins, only a very wealthy thoroughbred owning family that wanted their horse to win the Triple Crown. Kind of like Ms. America or Tim Tebow crediting Jesus for being such an awesome fan of theirs while, for instance, the vast majority of American POWs in the Pacific theater in WWII died miserably. I’m pretty sure they were praying pretty hard too before they starved to death?

  • jeff fisher

    Good point. Kirk Cameron tried to save Christmas with a laughably ridiculous Christian message in “Saving Christmas” and it dove to the bottom of the IMDB rotten tomatoes movie of all time with a 1.4 rating. No one wants to see the true message of the movie: the strength that Zamperini’s faith, degraded by sanctimonious grandstanding. If God or Jesus really wanted credit for anything they would come out of hiding.

  • Clara Bailey

    Johindgrinder, no, Mother Teresa actually on closer investigation turned out to be quite the evil bitch, and forced people into awful suffering. Check out some of the recent investigative work about her. Pretty poor example to cite.

    Religion is awful and sickening. And don’t try to paint Christianity as good or I’ll uncover the Inquisitions yo!

  • Clara Bailey

    And don’t be trotting out Pascal’s Wager or you’ll get your ass roasted!

  • John Virgilio

    I know in the Spirit the Truth. You may know of inconsistencies in the human testimony, even as James SEES a man justified before him (James) with his works, while Paul shows us how God sees a man justified by grace alone. God hides from you, and you don’t even care. Sad from what I know.

  • Clara Bailey

    John, you are just being a wimp and hiding behind religious twaddle. It’s really funny that your supposedly all-powerful BOMITS has to “hide” like that. Apparently he has even less courage than you!

  • John

    Calling Mother Theresa such a cruel and vile name speaks to your own poverty and gnawing internal anger. Perhaps then, in some sort of irony, you will find your own sense of interior peace and resolution to your spiritual and emotional struggles through the eyes of the protagonist in this movie. Clara, humanity fails, humanity kills, humanity is weak. I will pray you will find peace and forgiveness in your own struggle to embrace who you really are. We are both poverty and riches. Accept your own ‘poverty of spirit’ so that you can be open to receive the rich treasures of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Peace to you, Clara.

  • Clara Bailey

    John, you pray for me and I’ll think for you. Don’t try to act as if you have a lesson to teach me. That is just plain arrogance, so typical of your ilk. Let’s take a look at your beliefs.

    First, your Jesus story is obviously total fiction. There’s no way an all-powerful, perfect creature would need its “son” to die to fix anything wrong with us, his supposed creations.

    Second, you are definitely weak such that you need a big sky man story to comfort you. I don’t and I am strong enough to face reality. You are a wimp, plain and simple. I don’t have “poverty in spirit”, so stow the insults like that. I have a great, rich life and a lot of friends. Sheer arrogance there on your part. Stuff your sick bigoted religion already and get with the modern world.

  • Clara Bailey

    Mother Theresa really was a bitch, plain and simple. She deserves that name. You can easily look up the suffering she caused in the name of your sick and bigoted religion.

  • John Virgilio

    It only seems wimpy to you because you do not know. It seems funny that God hides from you in your sin because you do not understand. You name call, as if you know it all. He reveals Himself in the prophetic proof in Isaiah 53 (and the last verses of 52) where Christ is sacrificed for your sins 700 years before it occurs. And in many other proofs like Daniel 9:25,26. But you ignore the Truth. Perhaps others who read this will be open to the Creator who reveals Himself, as well.

  • Fallacy Spotting 101

    Post by ‘John Virgilio’ presents an instance of the Secret Decoder Ring fallacy.


  • Kurt

    Aren’t you assuming god is hiding from Clara? I am not a Christian but it isn’t because I haven’t found God. The idea that one could close themselves off from an omnipotent being seems illogical. I don’t say this to belittle your faith just it is at the heart of all faith based debates. You say God hasn’t revealed “itself” and I say why? Why would God choose only to reveal “itself” to less than 20% of the World’s population? These aren’t questions that you, the bible or anyone else can answer. Just because you have “found” God doesn’t mean the rest of “us” haven’t been blessed” but more likely we interpret the world differently. I see the world and place my faith in my friends, family, neighbors, and others who I have seen.

  • Kurt

    Christianity and religion has also inspired wars, genocides and countless atrocities. That isn’t to say it can’t be a positive inspiration just I doubt Clara was responsible directly or indirectly for the deaths of millions of people.

  • In a couple of weeks Christianity will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ( two thousand years ago)who said “blessed are they who believe without having seen”. In the end, however, every knee shall bend in homage to the Lord God Jesus Christ.

  • Barb

    No way, Richard. Belief without having seen is just being gullible or just plain dumb. No one should be expected to believe in such far-fetched stuff without clear and present proof that we can see today. I sincerely don’t believe the Christian tales. What proof can you present to me of them, that isn’t two thousand years old, that I can verify now.

  • Gramma J

    With so many comments about there being a God or not, may I suggest that to those who believe, no explanation is needed; to those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.

  • Froggy1v

    The movie will cover a time frame when Zamperini’s faith was lacking. So how do you introduce his faith in the movie? I think the lack of any faith during the 2+ years that Zamperini spent in a POW camp will inspire movie goers to find out more about the man.

  • Steve

    In the 20th Century, more people died in war and genocide that all the previous centuries combined. Can you please show me where Christianity or Judaism inspired the carnage? Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. where all atheists and dictators. You are correct with the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition and, although more political than religious, North Ireland. But to say less than 20,000 deaths under the guise of Christianity vs. 60-80 million under atheistic dictators ignores fact.

  • Larry

    “Can you please show me where Christianity or Judaism inspired the carnage?”

    Hitler relied on Lutheran and Catholic antisemitism to recruit willing participants and collaborators in mass murder. But you are far too dishonest to acknowledge that little bit.

    Christianity worked hand in hand to justify genocide of Native Americans, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and animists in the name of colonial conquest.

    The Christian inspired Taipings sparked off a war which claimed about 30 million people in one of the most pointless and bloody conflicts of the 19th century.

    I can go on if you want. But if you were actually honest or knowledgeable about history, you would not have made your prior statements.

    To claim less than 20,000 deaths under the guise of Christianity would be a flat out lie. But lying for the Lord is a common act for the faithful

  • Tim

    Hillenbrand’s first name is Laura, not Lauren.

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  • Francis

    I don’t understand people who are hostile to faith and choose to come to a faith website just to jerk people around. What’s the point, does it make you feel good about yourself in some way? It’s not as if this is Slate, you have to go out of your way to find this site and then read the piece and then post here. Seriously, does it make you feel superior when all you really do here is give people the finger. It makes you look small and petty.

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  • Ruth

    I just read a great quote from Henri Nouwen regarding God “hiding” from us. “I no longer think of God as hiding out and making it difficult as possible for me to find him, but, instead, as the one who is looking for me while I am doing the hiding!” Just think about it.

  • Harry

    Converted to Christianity?
    Louis Zamperini was baptized a Roman Catholic and hence was a Christian all his life.

  • Hank Russell

    Ruth, you’re just making a god to be what you want it to be. Like everyone else who claims to have one.

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  • Amy Lynn

    She came here to fight – if you choose ignore her and hello, forgive – isn’t that what the conversation here is largely about? then you do the better thing. Let Clara have the last word here, no one was ever won to Christ because a stranger argued better on the Internet.
    She is pushing buttons and being silly on purpose. Just remember and act on Galatians 5:22.
    Anyone who comes to a site called “religion news” knows what is being talked about, so they’re usually bred and spoiling for a fight. Please stop giving people that, folks the internet has become just too mean.

    Thanks all, Be God’s!

  • Amy Lynn

    Hi Ruth :0)

    I haven’t read a lot of Nouwen but he is quoted heavily in some of my favorite authors’ (Brennan Manning, James Bryan Smith) books, and I found him to be a very interesting, multi-faceted man. I like the quote you shared, that’s excellent.
    My Dad has been reading this book, he is such a WWII buff and we love Laura, she and I have the same cruddy illness & she is such an inspiration! (And sometimes a pressure :0) I am often asked where my great book is, ha!!) So I am looking forward to the film. It looks like Ms Jolie was and is heavily invested in making a high quality film.

    Peace of Christ to you –

  • Angela

    Baptizing an infant does not make them a Christian. It just gets them wet….

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  • David Hall

    Millions of christians-many of whom were murdered for their faith in a God who transformed their lives in such a powerful way as He transformed Mr Zamperini are all proof that God not only lives but thrives wonderfully and powerfully in those who give themselves to Him through Jesus Christ.Jesus Christ did not hide and even secular history validates that he existed.

  • David Hall

    Strictly using new testament scripture and putting catholic dogma aside you cannot be baptized into christianity.Christians are born through an individuals choice to follow Christ and baptism is something that should follow that decision.

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  • Christianity, the real thing is based of a real, yes I said REAL relationship with Jesus Christ. This religion crap is not the same thing with their buildings, traditions, ect., they did kill and control a bunch of people. They were wrong and in error and more interested in religion than the Person. Infinitely huge difference. Go find Him for yourself it will change everything. And when I said REAL earlier I meant hearing and seeing and more. You won’t have that with religion because it’s dead. Jesus Christ is alive. He said anyone that hears him knocking at the door and opens, He will come in and fellowship with. For whosoever Calls Upon THE Name Of THE LORD Will Be saved.. Open the door and be prepared for what cannot be written or accurately described.

  • Nino Samuel

    Looking at the conversations here – I am not surprised that Angelina Jolie is thinking and acting much like the anti-christian society that surrounds us. I understand that she obviously does not believe in God and Jesus as Savior. But it still seems unfair to me that she is using that to depict this man’s life with her own selfish point of view. Hollywood is very anti-christian from what I can see – so none of this is surprising. I just hope that people will be more open-minded and maybe look once at the faith that Zamperini had and how it contributed to him thriving. As for non-Christians who claim that God has not revealed himself to them, I think they have never turned their hearts to even consider the matter seriously. How can you blame God when you have decided in your heart you are against Him? You oppose God and yet at the same time want God to magically change your will. I do hope that someday for those who do not know the saving grace of God, they will come to a place where they will be broken enough to let go of their pride. May God bless you all.

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  • Religious Ranting as quoted by one blogger on this site was not Zamperini,s way. Nor God’s. Lots of accountability for those whose misrepresentation of God have driven many away. Scary. Looking so forward to seeing the film and all the evidence I’ve seen depicts Jolie as a women who got it and directed the film in such a way many others will as well.

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  • Tammy J.


    But I want to highlight what his daughter, Cynthia, said about the “Christian” aspect of Louis’s life not being part of the film. I’m sick to death of hearing the Christian community saying that it’s a disappointment, and that it’s because of Angelina Jolie blah blah blah. ALL CRAP. Why do people want to constantly judge things when something doesn’t happen as they think it should? It disgusts me, honestly.
    SO, Read it for yourself> Daughter, Cynthia: He had a very specific philosophy about this film. If Jesus Christ came up in the film, if that was the message specifically, then it would be a film made for Christians and other people may not want to see it if they’re not ready to have that message.
    His philosophy was he wanted as many people to come and see the movie as possible. If they loved the movie, they might pick up the book and read more about this extraordinary man and his faith. If they wanted to know more about how he got through it, how he survived it, they can investigate his faith further. That was his philosophy about delivering the message of Christ to people. He never wanted to preach at them. He wanted to live the example and have them come to him and ask, “How did you get through this?”
    It was absolutely sanctioned by him. This was what he told us he wanted. Angelina loved him dearly and she wanted to do right by him. Truly, they had a very deep loving connection and she wanted to fulfill this wish.

    ***** >>>>About Angeline Jolie>>>I want to share something with you because she was not a person of faith. She had never prayed before, but she found herself at the very last scene of the movie, the day of shooting, they needed sunlight to shoot this very important scene. There had been a storm that had been going for a while and she said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, so I’m gonna do what Louis would do.” She got on her knees and she prayed for a miracle. It stopped raining, the sun came out, a rainbow came out. She said, “Let’s get this take.” They shot the take. When she said, “Cut,” it started to rain. She was moved by my father’s faith to try that. That’s what he wants for people to get from the movie.
    When my father died, we were all with him in a hospital. She came about 45 minutes later and, as we were walking out, she was pointing above and saying, “I know he’s with us; I know he’s there with God.”

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  • Christianity is put together by individual people as God/Christ reveals himself to the individual. Organizations because of their political nature more often than not, fail, especially historically… As has been noted Christianity is a personal ongoing relationship with Christ, a daily dialogue if you will. In a broad sense, God came to this world and suffered at our hands in order to win our freely given love. He created us as agents of free will… He will respond to us if we seek Him and He will confirm Himself to us daily, but we have to seek Him. Through this daily confirmation His love for us is requited as ours grows. It is a virtuous cycle. As for all the naysayers, eternal judgement notwithstanding, it is truly sad that they are missing out on this day to day relationship with Jesus Christ, the beauty of it, the peace that in generates in your heart. Faith in Christ and depression are truly exclusive of one another. Hopelessness and futility enter one’s life only when we fail to keep up this daily dialogue with Christ.

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  • Actually, I am well-satisfied by the movie.I do think no one has to argue on whether or not the movie tells about Christianity but should accept that this movie introduced all of us to a great person, Louie and the ordeals that he went through and his exclusive tough mental strength to fight back what he encountered during arrested in POW.

    However, it is good to know that he is a true devoted Christian who will be in heaven by now unlike atheists who believe that they will be eternally lost and they do will be lost in hell while Christians are reigning in heaven with their Savior.

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  • johnny keith

    Have u ever asked yourself what if your wrong about God? You go to hell dude and I would hope that no one would want that. You may wanna do a Lil praying and soul searching. I will pray for you and hopefully you will find God.

  • ctaya

    Have u ever asked yourself what if your wrong about Brama? You go to hell dude and I would hope that no one would want that. You may wanna do a Lil praying and soul searching. I will pray for you and hopefully you will find Brama.

    Have u ever asked yourself what if your wrong about Ahura Mazda? You go to hell dude and I would hope that no one would want that. You may wanna do a Lil praying and soul searching. I will pray for you and hopefully you will find Ahura Mazda.

    Have u ever asked yourself what if your wrong about Allah? You go to hell dude and I would hope that no one would want that. You may wanna do a Lil praying and soul searching. I will pray for you and hopefully you will find Allah.

  • ctaya

    Here we go again: Catholic vs Protestants.

  • ctaya

    Justified by grace alone with or without no works?

  • ctaya

    Come on. Hitler is a believer, at least that is what he claimed to be.
    You would be astonished to find what Hitler had said.

    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

  • ctaya

    Hitler:””My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice …”