As the reviews of Hacksaw Ridge continue to pour in, one thing is clear – Mel Gibson’s Desmond Doss biopic is a heroic tale that must be seen. And you’ll struggle not to be moved by the story of the first conscientious objector to receive the US Medal of Honor for bravery on the battlefield. In fact, Gibson said, “You’d have to be made of stone to not respond to the true story of who this man was and what he did”.
Writing for Aletia, film critic David Ives describes how Hacksaw Ridge’s battle scenes are harrowing, not shying away from the blood, gore and horrific realities of war – but this gritty realism only reinforces the power of Desmond’s actions. Despite these challenges scenes, this is an immensely entertaining film that leaves viewers considering their own convictions.
Mel Gibson received a standing ovation when Hacksaw Ridge debuted at the Venice Film Festival this year. It’s almost as if Gibson came out of retirement to tell this story – it’s his first directorial effort in more than ten years. And when asked why he chose to tell the story of Desmond Doss – the World War II conscientious objector who went on to become a war hero – Gibson said: “To go into that [the Battle of Okinawa armed with only your faith, your faith has to be strong in you. That’s an undeniable part of the story I found really inspiring.”
In this interview with Greg Laurie at the SoCal Harvest Crusade in late August, Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson outlines why the story of Desmond Doss needs to be shared. Elsewhere, Gibson also talks about a potential follow up to another of his powerful films with religious influence – The Passion of the Christ.