We think of the violence that plays out along ordinary streetscapes in places as far away as Mogadishu, Sarajevo, Beirut or Baghdad – or as nearby as the 30 Deep Gang in Atlanta. Child Soldiers. – Art Papers
Aspiring soldiers and returning vets find commaraderie at massive paintball scenario games. Some vets use the games for prolonged exposure therapy in a self-administered attempt to heal from PTSD. In the spirit of Haron Faroki, Respawn mixes real footage of fake war with fake footage of real war.
Paintball merges with scenes from a VR game produced by the military to prepare soldiers for the shock of war. We tour with a platoon in the Afghanistan, guided by a virtual mentor who teaches us how to cope with the horrors of war. Filmed over 5 years entirely from paintball fields, Respawn takes us across the country into spontaneous theatrical events that exists at the crossroads of abstraction, recruitment, training and recovery.