Is Angelina Jolie's new film Unbroken racist? Some say 'yes'

Dec 9, 2014 at 3:55 a.m. ET
Image: Patrick Hoffmann/

Angelina Jolie could be banned from Japan because of her latest movie. Is it actually racist or are people trying to rewrite history?

Japanese nationalists are seriously perturbed over the Jolie-directed flick Unbroken, which tells the story of POW Louis Zamperini and his treatment at a Japanese prison camp. Based on the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, the film focuses on Zamperini's torture at the hands of the sadistic guard Mutsuhiro Watanabe.

The book describes prisoners being burned, beaten to death, beheaded, killed as subjects of medical experiments and cannibalized by their captors.

"It's pure fabrication," Hiromichi Moteki, secretary general of the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact told The Telegraph. "If there is no verification of the things he said, then anyone can make such claims," he added. "This movie has no credibility and is immoral."

Social media commenters are accusing Jolie of racial discrimination and calling for her to be banned from entering Japan, but she actually has history on her side.

"There is plenty of documentation on the abuse and tortures inflicted upon POWs," Mindy Kotler, director of Asia Policy Point, told The Telegraph. "There is also plenty of eyewitness and forensic evidence of Japanese cannibalism of prisoners as well of fellow soldiers.

"With the majority of war crimes trials and much of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal focused on atrocities against POWs, discrediting POW testimony is an important step toward discrediting the war crimes trials," she added. "This is the objective of it all.

"It is outrageous and reprehensible to deny what happened to Louis Zamperini. It will not be something that the US government will be able to ignore. Both the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which is predicated on acceptance of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, and the honor of American veterans need to be defended."

Unbroken lands in theaters Christmas Day.