Hacksaw Ridge (2016) is a World War II drama of two halves. The first half is Desmond Doss’ life before war—his love story with Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) and his family background—the second half a bloody recreation of the Battle at Okinawa.

Andrew Garfield (Pictured)
Andrew Garfield (Pictured)

Soldiers facing fighting, violence, combat; the war scenes in Hacksaw Ridge are about facing ‘hell on earth’ with steely resolve. The battle scenes are indelible imagery of courage in hard, difficult places. Combat medic Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) emerges a hero through it all.

Desmond didn’t take up a firearm, but he served his fellow men beyond the normal reaches of a combat medic. For his courage on the battlefield, Desmond was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first conscientious objector to receive the award.

Desmond showed courage beyond normal human capacity. What he did is almost beyond comprehension.

“One More”

Desmond helped injured countrymen down a long ridge—the hacksaw ridge—by using a long rope. He saved 75 men who were badly injured.

After sending a soldier down to the camp, Desmond took a breather and said “one more”. He goes to get another man and bring him down the ridge and into the camp. He did this one man at a time, 75 times.

If you pardon the comparison, his focus reminded me of the advice of a gym instructor. She said to me that she focused her energies in ten minute blocks, then the next ten minutes, and the next, so she could get through the long haul of exercising, until she finished. Desmond focused on one man at a time, because one man mattered, was worth something.

Even when he was beaten up in the fort because he wouldn’t fight and take up arms, he still put the men of the squadron above himself, and even made them his friends because of his courage and selfless service to them.

Hacksaw Ridge gives us the amazing testimony of Desmond Doss who showed courage beyond preserving his own life, to think of others before himself, though he was in peril.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad