Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

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.

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