NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a preview of this week’s Listening In.
Louis Zamperini was a U.S. airman shot down over the Pacific during World War II. He survived 47 days on a raft. Only to be captured by the Japanese and tortured until the end of the war. His harrowing story was the subject of a 2014 Hollywood film called Unbroken.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Critics loved the film, but some said it left out the most important part of Zamperini’s story: his faith. A new movie aims to remedy that. Unbroken: Path to Redemption tells the rest of the story.
EICHER: Warren Smith watched the film last week and talked to several people involved in the production, including Zamperini’s son.
In this excerpt from our program, Warren asks Luke Zamperini, was he happy with the new film?
LUKE ZAMPERINI: Overjoyed, as a matter of fact. It was everything I’d hoped it would, it would be. Ah, you know, I mean, they only make a movie about your dad’s life twice apparently. And uh, the first one, it was great. I loved the first movie, but it didn’t tell the whole story. And so I’m just elated to be able to tell the rest of the story in this production with, with the cast and crew that we have for this, this part of the segment of his story. It’s just phenomenal.
WARREN SMITH: Now you say you were happy with the first movie. A lot of people weren’t happy with the first movie and I—it’s hard for me to fully process why they weren’t happy. They weren’t happy because the faith element was downplayed, or was that it was only half of a story. Did you personally as the son, and your family, just kind of take that in stride and know that it was not going to be the whole story going in?
ZAMPERINI: Uh, yes, we did know that. I’m actually grateful that we can get the story in two movies because my dad’s life was so, it was such an adventure. I mean any one segment of his life is a story in and of itself. It’s an impossible odyssey that he went through. So we knew from the beginning that there was not enough time to be able to tell the whole story and that it was only going to go so far, but that there was the treatment of tiles at the end of the film that talked about what happened next. And I’m just so grateful we got a chance to then to actually bring that to the big screen now with Unbroken: Path to Redemption.
EICHER: That’s Luke Zamperini talking to Warren Smith. You can hear the full interview tomorrow on Listening In. It’s available on whatever podcast platform you choose.