Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Truly Inspiring Film

Over my holiday break I went to go see Unbroken, a film based on WWII veteran Louis Zamperini's life. Director Angelina Jolie paid great attention "to the details of Louis's story, from his rebellious childhood and early days in Torrance, California, to Olympic glory, and of course his great suffering in World War 2." What Zamperini went through was heartbreaking, and though some parts were difficult to watch others were heart warming. Zamperini suffered a plane crash, 47 days at sea, and then was captured by the Japanese army.

One of the most heartbreaking moments was during Zamperini's time at the first Japanese prison camp he was sent to. The officer in charge, which the prisoners referred to as "the Bird", didn't like Zamperini. When the Bird found out that Zamperini was a former Olympic athlete he made him run against another Japanese officer. As Zamperini attempted to run he collapsed multiple times before finally giving up. Seeing this happen made me flashback to scene earlier in the movie. The scene where  Zamperini runs from the back of a group of Olympic runners breaking an Olympic record. As I thought about this scene and watched Zamperini on the ground in the current scene I saw how much this strong man had been broken down.
Zamperini lifting the board above his head

One of my favorite moments of the movie was during Zamperini's time at the coal mine where he was sent after the prison camp. The Bird was also the officer in charge here and he did not give up torturing Zamperini. The Bird made Louis hold a cement board over his head and if he dropped it he would be killed. As he holds the board over his head he becomes weaker and weaker. I started to get very nervous in my seat thinking he was going to drop the board. He then gained the strength I hoped he would; with a loud scream he took the board from its low position and extended his arms completely above his head.

I have one word to describe this film:


Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Possible Step In The Right Direction

After the results of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions this past week President Obama has announced his plan to help equip police with body cameras. I believe this is a step in the right direction and that all law enforcement officers should be required to have cameras attached to them. This is a great way to keep police officers in check.
Police Body Camera
People question whether or not this will work considering the fact that there was video footage and still no indictment. My opinion is that there is a difference in a bystanders video and a cops video. If a bystander is taking a video one can say that the way they framed the video made things look as if the officer was at fault. If a camera is attached to the officers clothing then the video footage will be from the officers perspective; therefore, if this happens again the jury can see if there was an actual reason for the officer to take the steps that they did.
Another plus side to body cameras is that it might also provide a source for data analysis. It can help specialists understand how police actually do their work. It could also provide data for anti-racism activists and law and order types. Along with providing data it also will give the general public some reassurance. Police officers are public workers who work to protect the public. If we know that they are doing their job and following their training then we can feel like they are truly helping us.