Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
During America's Civil War, wealthy citizens on both sides routinely bought their way out of military service. However, people who avoided military service out of principle, then as now, were rare. History records that one such man was Ashby Gatrell of West Virginia, played here by Martin Sheen. Since West Virginia was a border state, its citizens enlisted on both sides of the conflict. Gatrell was reluctant to kill friends and relatives, as he would have had to do no matter which side he joined. Instead, he spent three years hiding in a cave, occasionally gleaning information about the progress of the war from comments made by passers-by. The whole movie is seen and told from his point of view, and other people are usually only glimpsed. This unusual film was directed by novelist-turned-filmmaker Clyde Ware, and features authentic music of the period and the region.
courage, war, cave, Civil-War [US], conscientious-objector, farming, hidden, pacifism, wilderness