• Love and War

    As you may know from previous posts I often enjoy a visit to my local independent cinema. I havent been very much over the last year, due to a lack of films that caught my interest at times that I was free from family commitments. However, there are currently several films, although unfortunately I did not manage to see Lion, a film that I had been waiting for, as it only showed for a week and was then withdrawn, for a reason I have yet to discover.

    I have however seen two films over the last few days. Both being based on true stories and connected to the last world war. I do not usually watch war films, but the first Denial, did not show any fighting, although the scenes of Auschwitz were upsetting.

    The second film, Hacksaw Ridge, I would have avoided, had I not heard an interview given by Andrew Garfield, the star. I was intrigued to know about how he had served in the US army whilst being a conscientious objector.

    For those who do not know Hacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who saved 75 men in Okinawa, during the bloodiest battle of WWII, without firing a single shot. Believing that the war was just but killing was nevertheless wrong, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded near enemy lines - braving enemy fire and putting his own life on the line. He was the first conscientious objector to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    I sat for most of the film with my eyes closed and trying to drown out the sounds by repeating my mantras. I had not realised from the interview that I had heard that so much of the film would be horrific scenes of battle.

    I very much admire the strength and courage of Desmond Doss to stay fully commited to his beliefs, regardless of the threatsand the danger that he faced. I have never understood war. I cannot believe that supposedly intelligent beings resort to murder and bodily harm and attempt to justify war by saying that it is different.

    I believe that our purpose for living human lives is to learn unconditional love. Perhaps if more people had followed Desmond's example, a different experience may have been had, but still we find advertisements glorifying life in the armed forces.

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