Two Great Films Based on Real-Life Tragedies

I like movies based on real life events. Two recent films The Impossible (2012) and Captain Phillips (2013) are great examples of Hollywood movies inspired by true-life tragedies. The Impossible centered on a vacationing family in Thailand who survive the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. When it hits them the husband manages to grab two of his boys and submerge them in the pool when the wave hits. They had a stroke of luck - this whole family survives this event when so many didn't.

One moment in this movie that really stuck out was when the mother Maria (played by Naomi Watts) and her son get separated from the rest of their family. Maria’s leg was severely injured, but she insisted that her son rescue a little boy who was separated from his family and the 3 of them climb a tree to avoid being carried away by a tsunami. The sequence portrayed human empathy and survival.

Captain Philips invoked similar feelings of struggle, bravery and survival as The Impossible. It is based on the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking, a series of events involving piracy that began with four Somali pirates seizing the U.S. cargo ship and kidnapping Captain Richard Phillips and several of his crew members.

One of Phillips’ crew members cleverly sets down glass on the ship floor knowing that one of the pirates are barefoot, and the pirate cuts his feet, leaving him vulnerable to Phillip’s crew. The captain of the USS Bainbridge is alerted of the hi-jacking and comes to Phillip’s rescue, offering supplies and money in exchange for the hostage, but the pirates do not comply, eventually leading to a standoff and finally the rescue.

Both The Impossible and Captain Phillips portray moments of bravery.  The real-life Captain Philips returned back to work a year after the hi-jacking, despite all that he had been through.  I definitely recommend checking out these films if you enjoy a good thrill!

Photo by bangdoll via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.