Mel Gibson’s pacifist World War II drama, Hacksaw Ridge, received a full 10-minute standing ovation at a Venice film festival over the weekend. Films usually receive a round of applause, even a standing ovation, but nothing compared to what happened when this film ended and the actors were asked to greet the crowd six minutes into the standing ovation.
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The film centers around the real life story of Desmond T. Doss, a pacifist who refuses to take up arms to fight the Japanese in Okinawa. The film depicts one of the bloodiest battles during World War II. Doss, who saved over 75 American soldiers’ lives during his time overseas, refused to carry a gun in the war, never firing a single bullet.
Doss was the only American soldier of the entire war to fight on the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic, he saved wounded men from behind enemy lines, risking his own life in the process. He was awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor by President Harry S. Truman.
Doss gives an emotional line of dialogue in the trailer, “While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it.”
It was ultimately a court decision whether Doss could be allowed to go into battle without a weapon. The court ruled that he could and stated, “Private Doss, you are free to run into the hell fire of battle without a single weapon to protect yourself.”
During a press conference, Andrew Garfield, who plays Desmond T. Doss, had this to say about the character he portrayed. “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 film will be in theaters on November 4th this year. Check out the awe-inspiring trailer below.