Bisbee ’17

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Thanks to our community partner, Jewish History Museum!

It’s 2017 in Bisbee, Arizona, an old copper-mining town just miles from the Mexican border. The town’s close-knit community prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bisbee’s darkest hour: the infamous Bisbee Deportation of 1917, during which 1,200 striking miners were violently taken from their homes, banished to the middle of the desert, and left to die.

“Audacious and timely … a bracing documentary … confirms that director Robert Greene is one of America’s finest new voices in non-fiction.” – Nick Schager, Variety

Townspeople confront this shocking, controversial past by staging dramatic recreations of the escalating miners’ strike. These dramatized scenes are based on subjective versions of the story and “directed,” in a sense, by residents with conflicting views of the event. Deeply personal segments torn from family history build toward a massive restaging of the deportation itself on the exact day of its 100th anniversary. In Bisbee ’17, filmmaker Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine) bends the boundaries of documentary and confronts the current political predicaments of immigration, unionization, environmental damage and corporate corruption with direct, haunting messages about solidarity and struggle, creating a unique, thought-provoking film that stirs up the ghosts of our past as a cautionary tale that speaks to our present. (Dir. by Robert Greene, 2018, USA, 124 mins., Not Rated)