Hacksaw Ridge – Mel Gibson

Hacksaw Ridge is a film based on a true story which follows Desmond T. Doss, a WWII medic. The film begins with Desmond signing up for the army. When he signs up he says he won’t touch a rifle. This makes his commanding officers and fellow soldiers detest him. The make it seem as if he will be completely useless on the battlefield and that he would be a liability. The officers try to get him thrown out of the army but he wins the court martial case and is put into the medic training program. Desmond’s platoon is then tasked with replacing a platoon which were trying to take Hacksaw Ridge. If the Americans take Hacksaw Ridge they could end the war with Japan, so it was high priority. The platoon goes up and pushes the ‘Japs’ right in. But the following morning, hundreds more Japanese soldier’s come from underground tunnels and overrun them. The Americans fall back to below the Ridge but Desmond stayed by himself to get the wounded. Desmond stayed the whole rest of the day and night, then into the next day lowering soldiers to safety. No one new who it was lowering them down until Desmond is chased off by the enemy.

Desmond won’t touch a gun because of an incident he had when he was younger. His dad was an alcoholic haunted by the 1st world war, and was violent towards his mother. This one incident he pulled out a gun and Desmond fought him for it having to hold it at his father for him to stop. Desmond vowed never to touch a gun again after that. I can understand the military’s point of the subject, what if Desmond had to protect himself or a comrade and the only way was by shooting the enemy. But I believe He more than made up for this ‘loss’ by saving so many. “With the world so set on tearin’ itself apart it doesn’t seem so bad to me to put a little bit of it back together.” This quote is one of Desmond’s statements at his hearing. He is saying that while everyone is killing he wants to be saving the wounded which they have forgotten.

Desmond also struggles with the idea of fighting, as he is a committed Christian. Being a Christian myself I have thought about what I would do if I had to go back in time to the 1940’s. God says to love your neighbour as yourself and love you enemy. How can I be loving my enemy’s if I am shooting them with a gun. There were plenty of Christians  who went to war and fought as normal soldiers. They justified by saying they were fighting for their belief’s, culture and country. I think if I had lived back then my thoughts on the idea would be completely different. Enlisting in the military was what everyone did and you were proclaimed a coward if you didn’t. I think if I grew up back then I definitely would have enlisted but maybe as a medic, to avoid the majority of killing.

I think this is one of the most compelling war films Iv’e watched. Desmond’s story is such a powerful one, “One more lord, give me one more.” When he was up the ridge by himself he kept asking God to give him one more wounded soldier to save. I love the irony of this story as well. Desmond is ridiculed by all his pairs and superiors for not wanting to touch a gun, then he goes on to carry 75 Men! From no mans land while his platoon shelter below. The strength of the man’s spirit is just next level.

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