SYDNEY (AFP) – Hollywood star Angelina Jolie said Tuesday she wanted her World War II epic ‘Unbroken’, which was filmed in Australia, to act as an antidote to the violence and hate in the world.
Jolie thrilled fans when she walked the red carpet with husband Brad Pitt for the Sydney premiere of the movie, which is based on the true story of a US Olympic athlete turned Japanese prisoner of war.
Jolie said all the war and violence in the world today had made people question the future.
“I wanted to put something out in this world that reminds us of the strength of the human spirit and brotherhood and faith and all of the things that will in the end get us through these dark times,” she told a press conference in Sydney.
The film tells the story of Louis Zamperini, who competed in the 5,000m at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, before becoming a bombardier in World War II.
When his plane crashed over the South Pacific he spent 47 days adrift on a raft with a crewmate before being captured by Japanese soldiers in the Marshall Islands.
He was held in a prisoner of war camp for more than two years, enduring beatings and torture, before his return home.
“And I wanted to make this film because, one, I wanted to learn from Louis and be around this great man,” she added.
Jolie said she had shown Zamperini, who died in July aged 97, the film on her laptop – which she took to his hospital room.
“He watched very intently as a man who knew he was passing away, he watched his life before his eyes,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation at the Monday night premiere.
“And he smiled when he saw his mother and he said ‘Pete’ under his breath when he saw the character of (his brother) Pete. You know, it’s his life.”
The movie was shot in Sydney and elsewhere around the country with Jolie telling the Sydney Morning Herald the locations, the tax incentives, and the crew were factors in filming in Australia and could see her return Down Under.
“There’s very much a community – we’ve all become friends – and at the same time there’s a very, very strong work ethic,” she told the paper.
“I love them and and I hope to come back and make another film.”