[by Dean Smith] An interesting thing happened on the set of the movie “Unbroken” being filmed in New South Wales, Australia. It is a film on the life of Louis Zamperini, a born-again Christian, who died this past July at the age of 92.
At a news conference in New York City last week, Cynthia Garris — the daughter of Louis Zamperini — said in the middle of filming actress/director Angelina Jolie dropped to her knees in front of the crew and prayed.
On one of the last days of filming, the crew needed clear skies to complete the final shot. It had rained the whole day.
According to Garris, Angelina — who is not particularly religious — asked everyone what Zamperini would do. In a rhectorical answer to her question, Angelina dropped to her knees and prayed God would stop the rain.
“It stopped raining. The sun came out, a rainbow came out, she said,’let’s get this take’ and they shot the take. When she [Angelina] said ‘cut,’ it started to rain again.”
Who is Louis Zamperini?
Zamperini served with the US Air Force in the Pacific during World War II. When his plane crashed in the ocean due to mechanical difficulties, Zamperini and two other surviving crew members — pilot Russel Phillips and Francis McNamara — floated for weeks on the ocean surviving on raw fish and Albatross. Francis died on the 33 day.
After 47 days at sea, Zamperini and Philips finally made land at the Marshall Islands and were taken captive by the Japanese. The two became POWs and were eventually transported to the notorious Naoetsu POW camp in Japan where they were brutally treated by their Japanese captors until the end of the war.
After the war, Zamperini became a Christian due to the ministry of Billy Graham and began to share an inspirational message of forgiveness developed as he worked through forgiving his Japanese captors.
Louis even went to Japan and visited many of his former guards, some of whom the Allies imprisoned due to war crimes. In 1950, Zamperini preached the Gospel to prisoners at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, where some of his former POW guards accepted Christ.
Zamperini had been close friends with Angelina Jolie for years and when the decision was made to do a movie on Zamperini’s life, Angelina used “Unbroken” as her directorial début. The movie, which has come under criticism because it downplays Zamperini’s faith, is scheduled for release Christmas Day.
This is not the first time unusual things of a spiritual nature have taken place on Hollywood movie sets recently.