Founder of Red Oxx featured in a new documentary.

Most of us in Billings are familiar with Red Oxx Manufacturing. The company was founded in the Magic City by Jim Markel Sr in 1986 after retiring from the military. Red Oxx makes extremely durable duffle bags, luggage, and other associated items, with a reputation worldwide. Jim Jr now oversees the day-to-day operations of the business.

The Montana-made documentary 'Return' isn't about the company.

Markel Jr and Sr are both pretty awesome guys. Their company is a real success story that could probably warrant its own documentary. But this new release goes back further, to a stormy time in US history. Vietnam.

Still provided by Beartooth Films
Still provided by Beartooth Films
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Back to Vietnam, 50 years later.

In 2018, cameras were rolling as Beartooth Films documented the father-son trip to Vietnam, retracing places and memories Jim Sr experienced during his service as a Green Beret in the conflict.

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Still provided by Beartooth Films
Still provided by Beartooth Films
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Directed and produced by Montanans.

The movie was directed by Peter Tolton and produced by his filmmaking partner Stan Parker. The two poured through over 125 hours of original footage for the 90-minute documentary, which premieres in Billings this Saturday (9/24). A brief synopsis from the press release below,

RETURN tells the story of retired Green Beret Jim Markel Sr., who embarks on a healing journey to retrace his steps, share his wartime experiences with his son, Jim Markel Jr., treat his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and seek out the mountain tribes he once lived with and fought alongside as a Special Forces officer. 

Catch the trailer below.

Still provided by Beartooth Films
Still provided by Beartooth Films
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Must see for Millenials.

You've probably seen the meme on social media that says something like, "The old man that shuffles around town with the Vietnam Vet hat, was at one time more badass than you'll ever be." I feel like that statement is so true. Many of the men and women who served in Vietnam don't really talk about it much (including my father). A chance to witness on the big screen what they thought, felt, and experienced as they returned to the country for the first time in decades could be eye-opening.

Image provided by Beartooth Films
Image provided by Beartooth Films
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See 'Return' Saturday, 9/24 at the Babcock Theater.

If you are a war history buff, have a Vietnam veteran in your family, or if you just want to support local filmmakers, don't miss 'Return' at its public debut. Tickets are $15, doors open at 6 and the show begins at 6:30. After the screening, stick around for a Q&A with the filmmakers, refreshments and live music in the Babcock Arcade. Get tickets HERE.

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