Angelina Jolie’s new World War II film Unbroken is reportedly facing a boycott in Japan over its portrayal of Japanese soldiers, despite the fact that no release date has been set in the country.
The picture, which was directed by Jolie, depicts a U.S. Olympic runner who endures torture at a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the conflict.
The film’s plot, which will feature the graphic and brutal treatment of American POWs, follows the story of Louis Zamperini as told in a 2010 book by Laura Hillenbrand.
A passage in Hillenbrand’s book, also titled Unbroken, tells of cannibalism among some troops. However, it’s not clear if the film will feature any of those details.
Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion said, “There was absolutely no cannibalism,” reports Fox News.
He urged Jolie to study history, saying executed war criminals were charged with political crimes, not torture. “That is not our custom,” he said.
Takeuchi stressed that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget.
“Even Japanese don’t know their own history, so misunderstandings arise,” said Takeuchi, who operates “The Japan Culture Intelligence Association,” a research organization.
Online trailers have sparked outrage across Japan, with some calling for the film’s boycott, and others calling for a boycott of Jolie.
Zamperini, who is portrayed by Jack O’Connell, survived in a raft for 47 days with two other crewmen after a plane crash, before being captured and interned.
Unbroken will debut in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day.