Conscientious Objector, The
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(Nov 08, 2010)
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The Conscientious Objector is a multiple award-winning documentary which tells the incredible true story of Desmond T. Doss, a World War II hero who never once touched a firearm. An inspiring and life-affirming account of a peaceful man whose religious beliefs spurred him to renounce all weapons and, in the process, allowed for him to save countless lives as a medic on the front lines and, eventually, to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think this film would be perfect for history classes, especially for young people, because it clearly illustrates the war while not including tons of gratuitous images of carnage. It covers history, but it's intimate...
There is something about this film that, either by the perspective of the film maker, or the veterans telling their stories, that fills a gap in my knowledge of or feelings toward the war. I felt more whole, having seen it, and while I didn't think I could feel prouder of or more supportive of our veteran and current service men and women, after watching this I felt utterly humbled by the bravery sometimes necessary just to "get through a day's work" and get home. By the end, all I could do was cry.
Desmond Doss grew up as a Seventh Day Adventist, his mother being the spiritual leader of the family. She hung a picture of the 10 commandments in the Doss living room, and young Desmond studied those commandments and took them to heart - literally. He was particularly affected by the picture depicting the commandment "You shall not kill", where Cain stood over a slain Abel, holding a club in his hand. After being convicted in his heart, he vowed then and there that he would never take a human life.
Fastforward 15 years and Desmond Doss enlists in the US Army, intent on becoming a medic. The Army accepted him, but instead did not accept his request to become a medic. Instead, they tried to break Doss and turn him into a fighting soldier. Thus came a series of hard-nosed company commanders who rode young Private Doss hard and persecuted him to give up his religious beliefs and take up a rifle. The men of his own company rejected and ridiculed him, believing he was weak, a coward, thinking he would get them killed in battle. They threw Army boots at him as he prayed on bended knees at his cot. The persecution went on for months, yet Doss stood firm and refused to learn the task of killing. He was totally isolated and alone, yet, remarkably, this young man did not give up his belief that killing was wrong. He stood firm. Finally, the Army relented and Doss entered the medical corp.
It was in Okinowa that Doss proved himself. In the weeklong struggle to take "Hacksaw Ridge" from the tenaciously dug-in Japanese, Doss single-handedly saved over 75 men from certain death, many of the men who had ridiculed him for being a coward. Doss evidently had divine protection, for all the men who saw him wade into the Japanese machinegunners to rescue yet another downed American, said what he did was miraculous. For his bravery in the face of certain death, Doss received the Silver Star, personally awarded by President Harry S. Truman.
This DVD documentary depicts the story of Desomnd Doss using stark visual images, the personal accounts of Doss' fellow soldiers, (some of whom Doss saved from certain death), and a return to the site of Hacksaw Ridge (now a children's playground). Told through the words and tears of his fellow soldiers, the struggle to take Hacksaw Ridge did more than scar the physical body; these men are emotionally scarred by what they have witnessed and done. Yet, Doss remains sigularly faithful to his beliefs. He refuses to hate the Japanese, even going so far as to treat the wounds of several Japanese soldiers. Doss's faith and beliefs learned as a child hold him up during the brutality of all-out war, and he earns the respect and admiration of a nation for his bravery and selfless actions.
The world is fortunate to have men of faith like Desmond Doss, for there are so few men like him. You will be inspired by his story, shocked at the graphic brutality of war, and in the end, you will be blessed having known the story of a true man of courage and faith.
The Bible says faith can move mountains. Desmond Doss moved his mountain on Hacksaw Ridge. It is a story of a man you will never forget. Buy it used, buy it new, share it with others, but GET it. You will be blessed.
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