Among the many surprises of 2016 was the comeback of Mel Gibson after many years in obscurity. Having once been one of the most popular names in cinema, Gibson’s career had taken something of a downward spiral post-Passion of the Christ, most notably following a series of tapes that recorded him saying things I can’t write down here. However, in spite of his baggage, Gibson managed to remind people this year why he is such a talented star, first with his performance in Blood Father and then with his return to directing in Hacksaw Ridge. The latter of which has gained him quite recently an award by the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival for Director of the Year.
Hacksaw Ridge saw its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this past September and received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The film documents the story of Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a man who joined the Army during World War II despite his religious beliefs making him a pacifist. In spite of his resolve to never fire a single shot, Doss proved his bravery as an army medic by rescuing seventy-five men during the Battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war. For his actions, he became the first (and currently only) conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The award is to be accepted on Gibson’s behalf by Hacksaw Ridge producer Bill Mechanic, who won the Capri Film Festival’s award for Producer of the Year.In an article by Deadline, Mechanic expressed his gratitude through the following quote: “It took me 15 years to make this movie. Mel will be very happy to receive this award. I always thought he was perfect for this movie, but he only accepted the ask on my third request! It was very important to make this movie.”