This is not the first time I encountered the story of Desmond Doss (My brother’s friend introduced his book to me years ago). But when I watched the movie, I still had the same reaction as to when I first heard his story.
Desmond Doss is a Seventh-day Adventist believer who joined the military but refused to handle any weapon. He faced many persecutions before he was allowed to join the squad for the war because he stood firm to what he believed in. “I don’t know how I am gonna live if I don’t stay true to what I believe in,” he said while he was in jail accused of disobedience because he refuses to handle even a small riffle. He, like every other Seventh-day Adventist, believes in the preservation of life that is why he refused to use any weapon and joined the war as a medic instead. According to the records, he single-handedly rescued 75 wounded soldiers on Hacksaw Ridge and brought them to safety. For that he was awarded by the United States of America with the Medal of Honor, the highest award for courage under fire. But there was actually no accurate record of how many soldiers he has rescued. Some of his troop mates say 50 while others say 100. And that is how they came up with the record of 75. Nevertheless, what’s important is not the number of soldiers rescued but Doss’ inspirational story of courage, faith and resilience.
1. The name ” Seventh-day Adventist” was boldly mentioned. Doss’ faith and religion was clearly portrayed by verbally showing his beliefs on keeping the sabbath, not eating meat*, reading the Bible and preserving life.
*not eating meat depends on the person’s personal conviction and is not mandatory in the said religion
2. The movie began with a narration of verses from Isaiah 40 *goosebumps*
3. The hospital scene of Doss donating blood is quite questionable (for me). I am sorry, OC here. Needle puncture must be zero-angle so you won’t hold the needle all throughout the collection like Dorothy did. Maybe micropores doesn’t exist yet during that time. I don’t know. Plus, it is better if the patient is lying down so veins are more stable. Haha. Just forgive me for being too perfectionist about this.
4. Doss returned to the hospital two days after donating whole blood to see Dorothy. He wants to donate blood again as an alibi. But I am sorry Private Doss. The standard operating procedures require an 8-wk interval (based on AABB)*. Oh the crazy things people do for love. Haha. That’s cute, anyway.
*NVBSP requirement is 12 weeks
5. Doss rescued even the enemy. Because he believes that all lives are equally important, when faced with the wounded enemy he did not, even for a slight moment, hesitate to help.
6. “Lord, help me get one more”. That prayer! Uugggh *more goosebumps*. Alone in there overnight without anyone to defend him nor any weapon in his hand, Doss searched through the dangers of the ridge checking wounded bodies one by one and rescuing those who still have life.
7. A True Story. At the beginning of the movie, we don’t see the typical “Based on A True Story” but instead “A True Story”. That is significantly different.
All in all, two thumbs up! Based on my limited knowledge of what’s in the book, I can say that the movie had little deviations but still portrayed the story very well.