Review: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers from director Angelina Jolie is a child’s experience of the genocide in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Continue reading “Review: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”

Review: Difret

In Amharic, the word Difret means courage. This film about a 14 year old Ethiopian girl and the young female lawyer who represents her tells a true story of courage and the right to be free. Continue reading “Review: Difret”

Watch This: Trailer for By the Sea

By the Sea not only features the most beautiful people in the world, it looks like the most beautiful settings and images in the world. Written and directed by Angelina Jolie (or Angelina Jolie Pitt) and starring Angelina and Brad Pitt it looks emotionally powerful but tensely contained. This couple is emotionally distant but perhaps violently connected.

Filmed in Malta, the setting is 1970’s France. Here’s the film’s description:

Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

poster for By the Sea

Judging from this trailer, every scene is exquisitely composed and shot. This is Angelina Jolie’s 6th effort as a director. I think it’s time to add her to the list of masters at the craft.

The film is due out in November.

AARP Interview with Laura Hillenbrand on Unbroken

The AARP Bulletin ran an interesting story with Laura Hillenbrand talking about her book Unbroken and her relationship with World War II hero Louis Zamperini.

Louis Zamperini inspects his bomber during World War II.
Louis Zamperini inspects his bomber during World War II.

The book is being made into a movie, directed by Angelina Jolie.

I thought this quote from Laura Hillenbrand from the AARP Bulletin article was worth repeating here.

“I wanted to tell the story of the Pacific war through the eyes of one man. He said, ‘Go to it!’ ”

It was a huge responsibility to have Zamperini and his fellow POWs share their stories, Hillenbrand says. “You have to do justice to someone’s most searing memory.” Often she spoke with men who had never described their ordeal. “They would weep on the phone,” she says.

Unbroken has given solace to families of veterans returned from the Pacific. Hillenbrand recalls that “I started getting thousands of letters and emails from family members who would all say the same thing: ‘I never understood my father or my husband or my grandfather, what he went through, why he was in so much pain, why he drank.’ People were able to find forgiveness, and that is terribly moving to me.”

There is much more interesting material in the article as well as a link to a radio interview with Hillenbrand.

Louis Zamperini image — War Department via Fold 3

Watch This: Unbroken Trailer

Unbroken is not the type of story I normally talk about here. My mission is to promote female driven entertainment. However, I have three most excellent reasons for being eager to see Unbroken.

The film stars Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Garrett Hedlund in the story of Louis Zamperini. Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner who served in the Air Force in World War II. He ended up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. His endurance under horrifying conditions, and his ultimate survival are both testaments to the human spirit.

This is a new trailer for Unbroken.

There is another trailer for the film, which was released during the Olympics. Louis Zamperini himself can be seen in that trailer. He died in July of 2014 at the age of 97 and never got to see the film.

Unbroken is scheduled to release on Christmas day. If you like to get out to a movie on Christmas Day, there are many tempting choices. (Two I’ve already mentioned are Big Eyes and Annie.) Unbroken will make you believe in the power of never giving up.

Angelina Jolie photo by Vince Valitutti – © 2013 – Universal Pictures

Watch This: Unbroken Olympics Preview

Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, is based on the true story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini. The movie isn’t due out until December, but this preview emphasizes Zamperini’s Olympic career and was released during the Olympics.

I read the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, on which the movie is based, and found it an inspiring and amazing story of courage, determination and survival. I’m looking forward to the movie.