***Tribute to a real-life WW2 “conscientious collaborator”***
After Pearl Harbor, Desmond Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia, joins the US Army to become a medic and serves at the Battle of Okinawa. As a Seventh Day Adventist and conscientious objector, his goal was to save lives, not kill, which naturally causes problems with his fellow soldiers; until they observe his bravery in combat. Teresa Palmer is on hand as Doss’ potential babe while Vince Vaughn plays the drill sergeant.
Based on a true story and directed by Mel Gibson, "Hacksaw Ridge" (2016) is a reverent and compelling WW2 flick that includes the usual training sequences in the first half balanced by intense combat sequences in the second. The unique factor here is that the brave protagonist refuses to use a weapon and is determined to only save lives in the midst of the insanity of war. This is an interesting real-life tale that needs to be told and “Hacksaw Ridge” is a good war movie only marred by laying on the heroics too thick as well as the lack of depth in the peripheral characters, which makes them uninteresting. The latter is in contrast to the outstanding “Platoon” (1986) which featured several well-defined characters.
The movie’s about an individual who believes in ABSOLUTE pacifism, which is a peaceable attitude that refuses to ever turn to violence, even in response to evil or for the purpose of national defense. He thinks this is supported by the Bible and, specifically, the New Testament, but it isn’t. The Scriptures support LIMITED pacifism, which is a peaceable attitude that only resorts to violence when justified. Christ' instructions to "turn the cheek" related to responding to a backhanded slap to the face, which was an insult in that culture. In other words, we could all save ourselves a lot of trouble in life if we learn to ignore the antagonism of various morons who would like to divert our focus and ruin our day. The Old Testament teaches this as well: "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult" (Proverbs 12:16). So Christ was talking about giving an antagonist a break for the sake of peace in situations of personal offense; he wasn't referring to cases of severe criminal acts or defense of one’s nation.
For proof, Jesus' ministry team had a treasury box and some of his workers carried swords for protection from thieves/murderers in their travels. You see, Christ & his disciples weren’t absolute pacifists. On two occasions, the Messiah got a whip out and chased all the fools out of the Temple – throwing over tables, swinging the whip and yelling. He was a Holy Terror, pure & simple, and this caused the legalistic religious leaders to fear him and plot murder (Mark 11:15-18). Harmless pacifists don't inspire fear and provoke murder plots. Moreover, Romans 13 clearly states that the righteous laws of human governments are ordained of God for the purpose of punishing criminals, domestic & foreign, who threaten the lives of citizens. This includes the right to execute when appropriate. The majority of sane Christians realize this, but there are a few extremists, like Doss in the movie, who refuse to be balanced with the Scriptures on this matter and insist that violent conflict is never appropriate. They’re wrong. Sometimes it’s necessary, like after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, unprovoked, murdering over 2300 innocents and wounding 1100.
The film runs 2 hour, 19 minutes, and was shot in New South Wales, Australia.