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Return Ticket From Baghdad

Return Ticket From Baghdad
03:09 | 2009

Categories: Shorts, War

Randy has a story not unlike many young men growing up in the slums of America. His story took a decisive turn after his cousin was killed in broad-daylight by a gunshot to the head at close range. This brutal incident made the pitch of Marine recruiters at the mall all the more attractive. A few months later, Randy finds himself on deployment in Iraq after being trained as a sniper and Humvee mechanic.

When we catch up with him a year later, he's back in Oakland and attempting to pick up the pieces of his life. He's working odd jobs and making progress on fulfilling his dreams of producing music. We get the feeling that Randy is in a long slowdance with death.

In just three minutes, this short film captures a three-year time span and a huge amount of personal transformation and includes first-hand footage of combat mission in Iraq as well as personal interviews shot on the streets of Oakland. Randy embodies much of the hope and frustration that urban youth typically experience. He has big dreams but sees slim chance to build success for himself.

There is a tragic irony in his choice to escape the violence of his neighborhood only by volunteering to fight in foreign wars as a Marine.

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December 11, 2016
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