Ok this was taken from The guardian, I don't claim it to be my ownbut it deserves some thought|
Japanese conservatives have levelled charges of racism at the Angelina Jolie second world war biopic Unbroken and called for the Oscar-winning actor to be banned from the country, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Nationalist campaigners say the film’s vision of Japanese guards severely mistreating American prisoners of war is deeply misleading. They have launched a petition on the website Change.org – so far it has more than 8,000 signatures – calling for the film to be banned on the grounds that it is “contradictory to the facts”.
Jolie’s film is based on the life story of American Olympic runner and US Air Force second lieutenant Louis Zamperini, as told in Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption. Zamperini, played by Jack O’Connell, was beaten and mistreated by the Japanese navy between July 1943 and the end of the war in August 1945 after being captured near the Marshall Islands following the downing of the B-24 bomber he had been helping to crew and a harrowing 47 days at sea.
The book and film tell how the airman was tormented by prison guard Mutsuhiro Watanabe, nicknamed the Bird, who later featured in General Douglas MacArthur’s list of the 40 most-wanted war criminals in Japan. Watanabe once forced a weak and starving Zamperini to hold a heavy piece of wood above his head for 37 minutes before punching him in the stomach, and the book also accuses the Japanese of engaging in cannibalism of POWs and indulging in murderous medical experiments.
Hiromichi Moteki, secretary general of the nationalist pressure group the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, told the Telegraph the claims were “pure fabrication”. He said: “If there is no verification of the things he said, then anyone can make such claims. This movie has no credibility and is immoral.”
However, activists hoping to convince Japan to face up to its actions during the war are angry that the experiences of Zamperini, who died in July aged 97, are being questioned. Mindy Kotler, director of Asia Policy Point, told the Telegraph: “It is one thing to question the memories of 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.
“Further, there is plenty of documentation on the abuse and tortures inflicted upon POWs. There is also plenty of eyewitness and forensic evidence of Japanese cannibalism of prisoners as well of fellow soldiers.”
Unbroken was initially pitched as an Oscars contender, but Jolie’s latest film has so far received only lukewarm reviews. It is out in US cinemas on Christmas Day, and arrives in the UK on Boxing Day.