Run time: 139 MINS

Director: Mel Gibson

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn

Synopsis: HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour for service above and beyond the call of duty.

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b336G3_A0R4

The film marks a directorial comeback, after a decade, for Mel Gibson [Apocalypto (2006), The Passion of the Christ (2004), Braveheart (1995)] . Hacksaw Ridge is a truly incredible story of courage in the face of almost unwatchable, gut-wrenching carnage and chaos of war.

Deeply religious, Seventh Day Adventist Desmond Doss, convincingly played by Brit-star Andrew Garfield [Silence (2016), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Never Let Me Go (2010)] discovers his untrained medical skills when growing up in the famous Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  At the local hospital he falls in love with a young nurse, Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) but his home life is unhappy because of his abusive, alcoholic father, Tom (Hugo Weaving) who is clearly traumatised and damaged from serving in France in the First World War.

When patriotic Desmond Doss signs up after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he intends to serve as a combat medic and not touch a gun. He infuriates Captain Glover (Sam Worthington) who tries to have him sectioned and is bullied and beaten by Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn), but his astounding bravery and courage in battle results in his earning their total respect.

Doss’s unit is assigned to the 77th Infantry Division and sent to the Pacific theatre to participate in the Battle of Okinawa, climbing the cliff face of the Maeda Escarpment, nicknamed ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, to take on the Japanese forces stationed there.

In the ensuing hellish, visceral, intense, gory, conflict, Desmond Doss rescued 75 men -single-handedly evacuating the wounded from behind enemy lines, braving fire while tending to soldiers and being wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers.

Doss was the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour by President Harry S. Truman.

In a coda we learn that Doss died aged 87 on March 23, 2006 and had been married to Dorothy until her death in 1991.

A powerful, brutal, unflinching film depicting the horrors of war which provides a powerful dichotomy to Doss’ pacifism.


Images courtesy of Lionsgate