Unbroken & the Power of Story

I just finished watching the movie Unbroken and was reminded of to power of story.  Before seeing the movie I had heard mixed reviews.  I heard great praise for the book and less for the movie.  Since seeing the movie trailer and wanted to see it.

A friend had given me the book and to be honest, I started it but failed to finish it.  I also have the audio book that is a total of 14 hrs.  I have listened to several hours, but have not finished it either.  Some of the criticism I have heard, is that the movie leaves Louis Zamperini’s faith out of the movie and his faith and what happened after the Billy Graham Crusade was the most significant part of the his life and healing.

After watching, faith was a major theme throughout the movie.  Faith seemed to be the thread that head it together.  Faith in God was a major theme in the movie, yet perhaps understated.  I left the movie, inspired and wanting the hear the rest of the story.  I had heard Zamperini’s life was changed at a Billy Graham Crusade.  Though the movie does not give specific details, it highlights that Louis gave his life to God and went back to Japan and offered forgiveness.

UNBROKEN is the story of Louis Zamperini, but it is more than that.  It is a story of faith, perseverance, and the human spirit.  It is about the struggle of life & death, good & evil, survival, the will to succeed, war & peace, the sovereignty of God and forgiveness.  Stories have the power to open up the mind, touch the heart and inspire us.

Below are more links to stories and interviews with Louis Zamperini 

As I think about the incredible story of Louis Zamperini, it has made me reflect on the power of story and storytelling.

We must think about how we tell a story.  A story can be true, yet one chooses to include some details and exclude others.


There are reasons for telling a story and various questions come into play when choosing how to tell it.

Some of them are:

  • Who is the audience?
  • How long do I have to tell the story?
  • What is the purpose of telling the story?
  • What is the point of the story?
  • What is the scope of the story?
  • Who’s perspective should I tell the story from?

These questions are key to identifying how a story is told.  Some story analysis is done intentionally and others happen naturally without even realizing it.  When telling a story, we also must ask based on our analysis questions above:  What  details, facts, emotions, pictures, dialogue, characters, do I include when telling this story?

You can’t include everything and you can’t say it all.

What you include and exclude is important, so be intentional.

As a communicator storytelling is more complex that you think.

So, Let’s do it well!