hacksaw-ridgeAt a time when America needs to focus our attention on media that highlights true heroism, Hacksaw Ridge is a gritty celebration of goodness. While it is obviously executed with powerful excellence in craft, let’s look at the content of this film through the lens of virtue. If we rated films according to the virtues that shine in the story, anywhere from a V-1 to a V-10, this film gets a V-10.

Hacksaw Ridge

Directed by Mel Gibson

Written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan  

Here is a link to the movie trailer and more. LINK

VIRTUE Rating: V-10

FAITH: in Desmond’s utter reliance upon God.

HUMILITY: shining in Desmond’s demeanor on and off the battlefield.

JOYFULNESS: surprisingly exudes from a man who grew up in a emotional battlefield at home, and obviously is the source of his strength

INTEGRITY: in the man whose convictions get him beaten in the barracks as well as in battle, and yet, he does not walk away.

STEADFASTNESS: is the light of dedication in Desmond’s heroic example

COURAGE: in his commitment to what he believes, in spite of terrifying circumstances

PERSEVERANCE: in Desmond’s determination to go save, “just one more,” again and again and again.

INSPIRATION: in the power to shine a divine light that invites everyone to deepen their respect for God through the actions of one man who was thoroughly devoted to the Heavenly Father.

CHARITY: in the disposition of selflessness of an unarmed man willing to go into battle to save the men who do carry the weapons.

PEACE: that surpasses all understanding is witnessed in the midst of horror, through the exceptional heroism of one man who abides in the love of God.

Synopsis:The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion after he risked his life — without firing a shot — to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa.

Typical Age Interest Range: College age guys and Grown-ups

VIRTUE WORKS Commentary: This is not a film for children. The horrific scenes depicted with jarring, yet artful, reality differs from other war films. Many films offer gratuitous violence that almost incites voyeuristic pleasure in observing death. This rare film invites compassion over the loss and destruction of life. The film’s extraordinary hero beckons to each of us to go back into the battle to save…just one more life. There is a palpable sense of sacrifice and redemption about this film, both within the movie and demonstrated in the back story of the director who created it. Bravo, Mel Gibson.

The Fine Print:                                                                                                                             Format: Biographical War Drama Feature Film                                                                      Running Time: 131 minutes                                                                                               Distributed by: Summit Entertainment, 2016                                                                            Actors:  Andrew Garfield, Theresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn  

But Wait!  There’s more.  Dig Deeper:  Check out Chris Stephanick’s amazing free video sharing the story of another humble yet extraordinary war hero who perhaps you have never heard of before: Father Cappodano. LINK

Here’s some thoughts on the film from other media voices: VWM News & Reviews:                     #1   This review shares thoughts why Hacksaw Ridge might be a compelling choice for Catholic viewers. REVIEW

#2   This review posted in the National Catholic Register shares an interesting perspective through the lens of religious liberty:  REVIEW

#3   This review also offers interesting insight and a look at the film’s business outlook from a Forbes movie reviewer: REVIEW

VWM Contributor:  Cathy Gilmore       www.catherinecgilmore.comCathy Head shot open smile                                      This post is to give you a taste of an entirely new way to look at media. Through the lens of virtue. This is the start of a movement in which regular people like you and I can have a clear rubric to think about and recommend quality entertainment that offers content that is worth our time. Modern critics are now so steeped in media that is saturated with toxic content that they continually recommend artfully presented work is not food for our souls. They forget why we read books and watch movies. To enjoy them. We all can forget that our soul reads each book and watches each movie with us. The truth is, our souls don’t enjoy content that does narrative or visual violence to us spiritually. My soul and I are not going to let jaded movie and book critics decide for us what is fun. How about you? (No, I’m not schizophrenic, I talk about my soul like a person living inside me to remind all of us of the presence of the soul when society forgets.)

Go to the  Virtue Works Media website to see what I’m all about. Contact me if you’d like to join the fellowship of contributors to Virtue Works Media to transform culture with the power of virtue…one book and one movie at a time. And if you are prompted to do so, please pray for me and this endeavor.