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Discussion Guide: Unbroken

Unbroken movie

Movie Synopsis

Academy Award-winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces UNBROKEN, the epic drama that follows the unbelievable true story of American hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini.

Unbroken movie poster


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Discussion Questions

  1. What is significant about the film’s title Unbroken?
  2. How did Louie’s childhood prepare him for war? How did Louie’s running career prepare him for war??
  3. Before going off to war, Louie’s brother, Pete tells him, “A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.” What is significant about this quote? Why do you think Pete tells Louie this?
  4. After being shot down, Louie, Phil, and Mac emerge as survivors on the raft. In what ways is teamwork essential to their survival? What happens when they don’t work together?
  5. Why is Louie always the first one to be beaten? What do you think Louie has that the Japanese are afraid of?
  6. In the end, Louie realizes the way forward is not by revenge but through forgiveness. Why is revenge not the answer?

What Parents Need To Know

Parents need to know that Unbroken is Angelina Jolie's affecting, inspiring biopic about Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), an Olympic athlete who finds himself tested all sorts of ways during World War II, culminating in a two-year stint in a Japanese prison camp. As expected based on the source material (the script was adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's book about Zamperini's life), there are plenty of scenes showing torturous abuse, including beatings, verbal harangues, and psychological attacks; some of it is quite difficult to watch. Aerial combat footage includes explosions, and Zamperini's time adrift on the ocean is also intense; at one point, he and his boatmates take on sharks with their bare hands. Language is infrequent and mild, but some early scenes portray a teenager smoking and drinking. Families may want to check out Hillenbrand's young adult adaptation of her bestselling book.

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