Mel Gibson’s New Movie Tells Story of World War II Conscientious Objector

Every year, more than 11 million children and adults head to camps — but they’re nothing like the army training camp where Desmond T. Doss, a World War II veteran, stays in the Mel Gibson’s new film.

Hacksaw Ridge, which premiered in at the Venice Film Festival, is the real story of Desmond T. Doss, a World War II veteran and conscientious objector. He refused to carry a weapon, but exhibited bravery on the battlefield that saved the lives of at least 50 men in his battalion during the Battle of Okinawa.

The picture follows Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, from his beginnings in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When he is drafted, he faces a unique dilemma: as a Seventh Day Adventist, he is opposed to killing another human being, but as a patriot, he is eager to serve his country.

Although Doss attempts to be a medic, his sergeant, played by Vince Vaughn, comes down on him, hard. Doss continuously falls back on his faith to keep him going through the most difficult parts of his experience.

As Doss (Garfield) says in the trailer for the film, “While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it.”

In a press conference about the film, Garfield commented on his character: “The beautiful thing about Desmond Doss is that he was a very simple man, in the sense that he had a knowing. He had a knowing in his heart, in the core of his being, that he was not supposed to take another man’s life.”
The drama was received with an unusual ten-minute standing ovation upon its release at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend.

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