THE DOCUMENTARY

"THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR"

THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMERICAN SOLDIER

THE FILMING STORY

 

For 50 years, Hollywood wanted to tell Desmond’s story...  

 

Desmond however declined, fearing the Movie Business' reputation of exploitation. He desired only to live out his post war years peacefully with his wife Dorothy, serve God and heed the call of his Country as an ambassador of good will. In 2000 nearing the end of his life, Desmond approached his Church expressing his wish for creation of a film on his life experience as an inspiration to youth. With a promise to uphold the integrity of Desmond’s convictions, Terry Benedict was entrusted by Desmond to take on this important mission, and so began the journey to make "The Conscientious Objector." Desmond's story is one of the most miraculous occurrences of World War II, and the impact of his heroic acts resonate today as it did during his military years.

 

A commentary by the late Senator Max Cleland stated the following...

“This film promises to be a lasting testament of his valor and an inspirational message to all Americans.

I consider Desmond Doss a valuable friend and a human treasure to our country.”

SYNOPSIS

 

The story tells of Desmond's early years and events that shaped his character which would play a key role during his adulthood. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor Desmond, motivated by a desire to serve his Country enlisted in the Army even though his beliefs would not allow him to kill another human being. Refusing a deferment offered to him because of his job at the Newport News Naval Shipyard, Desmond determined to serve in the battlefield, joined the army to become a combat medic. During basic training his moral and spiritual beliefs came in conflict with established Army practices resulting in ridicule from fellow soldiers and attempts by superior officers to expel him from the army. Desmond never wavered, remained resolute and overcame the challenges placed before him. He ultimately won out with a letter from a commanding General confirming Desmond's right to serve under a Presidential order. Going into combat he developed a reputation as a fearless medic during the battles of Guam, Leyte, and Okinawa, [the "Hell Hole of the Pacific."]

 

It was on Okinawa the key combat engagement to defeat Japan, that Desmond's beliefs were put to the test in the most impossible of circumstances, by saving the lives of 75 of his fellow soldiers in a 12 hour span under intense enemy fire. Those acts witnessed first hand are told by the soldiers who served with Desmond and whose lives he saved on this the bloodiest battlefield of the Pacific. For his devotion to God, his unselfish love for his fellow soldiers and acts of extraordinary heroism above and beyond his call of duty, America bestowed on this humble Hero its highest recognition "The Congressional Medal of Honor." True to his character, Desmond said of his Nation's highest honor...

 

 

 "I wear the medal for the real Heroes,

who paid the supreme sacrifice by laying down their lives for their country."

"the Conscientious Objector"   

A documentary film by Terry L. Benedict

 

Producer/Director  

Terry L. Benedict

 

Executive Producers 

Gabe D. Videla | Jon Sheinberg

 

Screenwriters  

Terry L. Benedict | Jeff Wood

Production Executive  

Jeffrey E. Cordone

 

Genre  

Historical Military Documentary

FILMING LOCATIONS  

Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona, California USA
Okinawa, Japan

 

RELEASED

MARCH 2004  

Running Time  

98 minutes

Technical Highlight  

THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR was the first feature length documentary

using Panasonic’s new VariCam Cinema™ High Definition camera.

AWARDS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

Cinequest Film Festival  

Official Selection

Closing Night Gala

 

Cinequest Film Festival  

Audience Choice Award 2004

Best Documentary Film

Cinequest Film Festival  

Director's Award 2004

Best Feature DXD (digital to Digital)

Cinequest Film Festival  

MaVerick Spirit Award 2004

Desmond T. Doss, C.M.H.

Annapolis  Film Festival

Official Selection

"The Conscientious Objector"

Century City Film Festival

jury Award 2004

"Best Documentary Feature"

Big Bear Lake International Film Festival  

Audience Choice Award 2004

Best Digital Documentary

Big Bear Lake International Film Festival  

Audience Choice Award 2004

Best Documentary

Heartland Film Festival  

Special Acceptance 2004

Crystal Heart Award

Starz Denver International Film Festival

Official Selection 2004

"The Conscientious Objector"

Zoinks! Film Festival

Boston 2004

Best Documentary Feature

International Documentary Association's
Infact Documentary Showcase - August 20-26

Official Selection 2004

"The Conscientious Objector"

Zoinks! Film Festival

Boston 2004

Humanitarian Award

Durango Film Festival  

Jury Award 2005

Best Feature Documentary

February 2005

vail Film Festival

Official Selection 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

March 2005

Ashland Film Festival

Official Selection 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

March 31st 2005

Memphis Film Festival

Official Selection 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

April 21-24th

Santa Cruz Film Festival

Best documentary 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

July 19th

Long Island  International Film Expo

Best Feature Film 35mm 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

My 5-15th

Visionfest Film Festival

Odd Ball Film & Video Doc. Award 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

July - Brooklyn

international Documentary Film Festival

New Zealand Official Selection 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

September 2005

Quittapahilla Film Festival

Best Film 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

September - allentown, PA

Quittapahilla Film Festival

Audience Choice Award 2005

"The Conscientious Objector"

September - allentown, PA

 
 
 
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REVIEWS

 

"The documentary is an amazing blend of archival footage and contemporary interviews with those who helped and harassed Doss."
 

Steve Rhode
Film reviewer

"The Conscientious Objector profiles with grace and conviction the amazing life of Desmond T. Doss."

San Jose Mercury News

AE, Saturday March 13, 2004
"Conscience under fire," by Glenn LovelL

 

 

"Your film is AMAZING ! I'm so glad it's getting the closing-night spot,
that's a huge honor. I have to say that during the end of the film
I got very choked up. I am a big fan of WWII
and I think the timing of this doc is perfect."

 

Jens Michael Hussey
Director of Public Relations, Cinequest Film Festival

"In my fourteen years of running the festival,
I have never experienced such a powerful film."

 

Kathleen Powell
Founder, Cinequest Film Festival

 

 

"This year's Cinequest had the biggest name and the biggest hero.
Our Organization was honored to have
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Desmond T. Doss,
both Mavericks in their own rights, attend the festival."

 

Halfdan Hussey
Co-founder, Cinequest Film festival

 

 

"The documentary is not only a harrowing true-life war story,
it is also a glowing example of Christian ethics put to the supreme test. 
Not as many people will see or hype The Conscientious Objector,
as will they Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, and that's a shame."

 

"The Conscientious Objector is an unusually authentic look at the war, since it doesn't have the traditional rhetoric of the war movies and those too-familiar stories of the pacifist who ends up spoiling for a fight."
 

Richard von Busack
Silicon Valley Metro Weekly Newspaper