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Angelina Jolie's, "Unbroken" Film is Banned in Japan

Updated on December 18, 2014
Zamperini in the Olympics
Zamperini in the Olympics

The first film, The Interview, from Sony Pictures, has been pulled from its release after North Korea hacked into their corporate computers and released stolen documents. Their threats of retaliation if the movie is released (a film costing $45 million) caused Sony to surrender and the movie will not ever be released. It was the first cyber war and North Korea won. Now, Japan, for different reasons, has banned an Oscar potential film, Unbroken.

Japan banned it because they call it racist in the depiction of how the Japanese prison camp guards are portrayed- vicious and cruel to POW's. Japan has called the film inaccurate about how in WW2, American POW's were treated in their camps, something that does not bear out with historical facts. The film is about how one survivor of a plane crash in the Pacific is captured by the Japanese and imprisoned after drifting for 47 days. It is a true story that shows how the human spirit can survive despite the brutal treatment from Japanese guards, in particular, Mutsushiro Watanabe, from 1943-45. During that time, the tactics used against American POW's was torture, and this man was on General MacArthur's top 40 war criminals in Japan. Japanese guards have been documented of engaging in cannibalism of dead POW's and conducting horrid medical experiments on them.

Japan calls the movie "pure fabrication and immoral". Watanabe, died in 2003, but he was #23 on the war criminal list for vicious beatings and how he admitted to enjoying it. Like the famous movie, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Unbroken is a ultimately a battle of will between the Japanese guard and Zamperini, who was an Olympic medal winner in the Berlin games. Watanabe remained defiant long after the war and a rich insurance man with a $1.5 million apartment.

It seems Japan does not like to look back at the atrocities they committed during WW2. Documentation fully exists showing the worst of mankind existed in the Japanese and Nazi armies. Japan needs to acknowledge it and allow younger generations see how it was. Banning the movie is pointless because the film will be seen.


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