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By Phil Hall | August 6, 2004

“Last Gun Story” is Dominic Traverzo’s haunting film essay about violence and lost hope. The film, which runs a little over six minutes, recounts the world of a young man whose fatally shot body is found in the bathroom of a Florida rest stop. Using a mix of images of streets, open fields and seemingly endless roads spliced with re-enactments of scenes from the dead man’s life, this short film offers a sorrowful mix of a wasted life marred by several incidents of gun-related violence and a sense of having accomplished nothing before premature death came unexpectedly.

“Last Gun Story” combines black-and-white and color photography with a disturbing music and audio soundtrack and an unemotional narration. The visual and aural effect keeps the viewer in a distinct state of unease – the film is artistic but off-putting, striking but harsh. The film’s final images, of a young man bound to a chair with tape wrapped around his mouth, is a chilling and daring act of symbolism. This youthful hostage, whose presence may seem to come out of nowhere, actually embodies the living captivity of the man whose “trapped” existence is considered throughout the film. It is an imaginative concept and the gamble works well.

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