Angelina Jolie has been creating a lot of buzz surrounding her World War II drama, Unbroken, with the word Oscars being thrown around quite a bit, however it is now creating less favorable buzz.
Japanese conservatives are calling Jolie and the film racist for its depiction of Japanese prison guards in WWII prisoner of war camps and are so outraged they are calling for Jolie and the film to be banned from Japan.
The film is a biopic, directed by Jolie, that is based on the life of American Olympic runner turned U.S. Air Force officer, Louis Zamperini, who became a prisoner of war from 1943-1945 after being captured near the Marshall Islands when his bomber went down at sea.
The film and book it is also based off of by Laura Hillenbrand titled, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption”, both depict the cruelty of Japanese guards as experienced by Zamperini.
The secretary general of the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, Hirmochi Moteki, stated that “It’s pure fabrication. If there is no verification of the things he said, then anyone can make such claims. This movie has no credibility and is immoral.”
There has now been a petition initiated against the film on Change.org which deems Jolie a “demon” and has over 8,000 signatures in support of banning the film claiming that it is “contradictory to the facts.”
While the movie has sparked outrage from Japanese nationalists, their outrage has now sparked anger from those condemning the Japanese for not facing up to their actions during the war.
Mindy Kotler, director of Asia Policy Point, spoke about Japan’s take on the film to The Telegraph newspaper stating, “It is one thing to question the memories if illiterate women, who were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military. It is quite another to question the memory of a white male Olympian who was a disciple of Billy Graham.”
She went on to say, “Further, there is plenty of documentation in the abuse and tortures inflicted upon POWs. There is also plenty of eyewitness and forensic evidence of Japanese cannibalism of prisoners as well as fellow soldiers.”
The film hits U.S. theatres on December 25, 2014.
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