Tribeca 2022: “Triggered”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Gun violence in the United States is like an epidemic without a cure or vaccine. Every day someone gets shot, severely injured or killed. School mass shootings are a whole different level of a nightmare and politicians seemingly do not want to make them stop from happening. There is always the question of why it all happens? When will it stop and how?

A man and a woman slowly come out of their own cars. They glance at each other with acknowledgement and proceed into a large house. They are armed and unhinged. They have their demands. They have questions and they definitely seek an answer. Their target is two people, one of them is the US Senator who quickly realizes that the people who just entered her home did not come just to rob them.

“Triggered” is the most shocking and thought-provoking film with a brutal approach, I must say, works, whether you agree with the solution provided or not. Director Tara Westwood, who portrays the U.S. Senator, is not afraid to touch upon a risky subject matter. But it works so well, and you will want to see more after it ends. There is one particular scene when an angry man asks his hostage, the senator’s husband, “you don’t care about stuff like a flat TV I can take from you. Because you can replace it. Money can be taken out of the bank. Everything can be replaced. But can you replace the lost life?”

This is when the story begins to unfold quickly when the two armed persons share their stories of loved ones they have lost due to mass shootings and the lack of accountability from the US Senator, who in fact voted for the guns to be sold to mentally ill people. What happens afterwards is the worst nightmare even for the audience and even worse if it were to happen in real life. But what Tara Westwood tried to convey through her amazingly shot short film is that thoughts and prayers do not help when another innocent life is lost to gun violence and no changes were made to prevent it. And that is something we all can come to a collective agreement to.

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