Week 3: Choose the essential reading text “Film and Ideology” by Maria Parmaggiore and Tom Wallis for next week, select one particular aspect of ideology and use it to analyse a film of your choice

Pramaggiore and Wallis’ text states that ideologies give the theoretical threads that knit a community together thereby guiding the deeds of groups, individuals and entire societies (Pramaggiore and Wallis, 2006). The text explains that ideologies serve as the emotional and psychological justification for the differential treatment of persons in a community thus promoting the social supremacy of one group or individual over another. The film directed by Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge, clearly depicts this ideological aspect (Hacksaw Ridge, 2016).hacksaw-ridge-andrew-garfield-movie-image

The film featured the 2nd world war when America was at war with Japan. Many young men volunteered to enlist in the army. It is common knowledge to kill and bear arms in war. However, there is one religious young man by the name Desmond Doss who followed the Ten Commandments at heart and refused to carry a gun or kill. His stand brought about criticism because his fellow teammates and commanders failed to understand why he enlisted if he would not equip himself with arms or kill the enemies. Consequently, Doss faced harassment from his commanders and the teammates. The leaders exerted excess force and punishment on the unit with the hopes that Doss would give up and go home. They even opted for mental illness allegations to prove that he was unfit to go to war. Some of his group men physically assaulted him to scare him into going home. The commanders later sent Doss to prison and to the court martial for disobeying orders.

Most of the characters victimised Doss because of his stand against violence at war. The film provides a clear picture of the beliefs of people and how individuals carry out extreme measures to realise those ideas. It provides insight on how individuals with different views are victimised and punished when they refuse to follow the expected societal norms. In the end, Doss was allowed to proceed into war without any weapon and act as a medic. He later saved the lives of 75 men.



Hacksaw Ridge. (2016). [film] New South Wales: Mel Gibson.

Pramaggiore, M. and Wallis, T. (2006). Film: A Critical Introduction. 1st ed. London: Pearson, pp.331-337.


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