Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks
Friday, 7.30pm, Discovery Curiously, this is a story of survival in World War II. After their plane crashed into the ocean, three US soldiers, including Louis Zamperini, found themselves clinging to a liferaft as sharks circled. But the demons of the deep were not their only enemy. The men were spotted barely clinging to life by a Japanese fighter plane, which simply opened fire. They faced illness, thirst, hunger, madness, Japanese bullets and an ocean dense with ravenous sharks. As part of the aforementioned Shark Week on Discovery, this documentary presents a gripping reenactment of these seven long weeks at sea, during which one of the three died. The story was made into the 2010 book Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, who had extensive access to Zamperini when he was in his 80s. (He’s now 95.) The documentary begins in Berlin, where Zamperini, a celebrated athlete, is competing in the men’s 5000m at the 1936 Olympics. He is expected to take part in the next Olympics in Tokyo, but war intervenes. The book apparently goes much further into what happened to the two survivors, when, after their ordeal with the sharks and the sea, and paddling their raft for more than 3200km, they were taken prisoner by the Japanese.