• Thomas Bonifield

"Unbroken: Path to Redemption" to Deliver the Rest of the Story

The faith-based sequel of the Louis Zamperini biopic will flesh out the details of the WWII hero's journey to faith.

This latest version of the story, due out next week, picks up where director Angelina Jolie's 2014 Unbroken left off: Zamperini's return home from the war. Harold Cronk, best known for his work on God's Not Dead, is in the director's chair this time around. His film focuses on the protagonist's battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that leads Zamperini to the bottle and despondency, but ultimately helps serve as a catalyst for his turning to Christ.


Both movies are based on Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling book about Louis Zamperini, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Jolie's film was a worthy effort, generating $163 million at the box office on a budget of $65 million. Its focus, however, was narrow, covering Zamperini's war years and adding some scattered flashbacks to advance the narrative. But it devoted scant attention to his coming to Christ: a couple graphics right before the final credits roll. In other words, it was long on "Survival and Resilience" and short on "Redemption."


Cronk's take, on the other hand, while covering the war trauma, will focus on the after-war years and, ultimately, Zamperini's spiritual redemption. In the movie, as in real life, our hero is haunted by memories of his brutalization in Japanese prisoner of war camps. Once home, he meets - and marries - Cynthia, the woman who captures his heart. His mind and soul are so scarred by the torture he endured in the war, though, that he descends into alcoholism.

Billy Graham's 1949 Los Angeles Crusade changes everything. The famed evangelist, who is played in the movie by his actual grandson, Will Graham, is ultimately the instrument God uses to lead Louis Zamperini to faith in Christ, and to a place where he can even forgive his Japanese tormentors.


One other point worth mentioning: this film breaks the standard sequel mold. Virtually none of the cast or crew from the first movie are back for the second iteration. In fact, Unbroken producer Matthew Baer is the only person of note taking part in the follow-up production.


Unbroken: Path to Redemption, which is being distributed by Pure Flix, hits theaters September 14, and it will give Cronk fans two of his faith-based films to choose from: he has another picture, God Bless the Broken Road, coming out a week earlier on September 7. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer for Unbroken: Path to Redemption via this link.

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