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Bisbee ’17 ()

Sep 05, 2018 | PG | 112 min
  Genre: Documentary, Western
  Director: Robert Greene
  Writer:
  Cast & Crew: Aaron Gain, Annie Graeme-Larkin, Benjamin Joel Caron, Charles Bethea, Chris Dietz, Dick Graeme, Doug Graeme, Mary Ellen Dunlap, Mike Anderson, Richard Graeme Iii
  Synopsis: An old mining town on the Arizona-Mexico border finally reckons with its darkest day: the deportation of 1200 immigrant miners exactly 100 years ago. Locals collaborate to stage recreations of their controversial past. History is written by the victors. That’s certainly true in Bisbee, Ariz., a small border town where, in 1917, a sheriff backed by local mining companies rounded up striking workers and exiled them to the New Mexico desert, never to be seriously thought of again. "Bisbee ’17" addresses that traumatic event in a bracing documentary that blends fiction and reality in ways that both complicate and enhance the material’s core themes. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, it’s an investigation into memory, intolerance, corporate-labor conflicts and race relations that’s as audacious as it is timely - and further confirms that director Robert Greene is one of America’s finest new voices in nonfiction. Anyone’s who’s ever visited Bisbee - a tiny community located seven miles north of the Mexican border and populated by artists and iconoclasts, many of them residing in homes nestled into the surrounding mountains - likely thinks of it as a crunchy enclave of left-leaning free thinkers. "Bisbee ’17," however, focusing on the hamlet during WWI, shines a far more shadowy light on the town, famed for its subterranean wealth of copper, which was vital to the war effort. When the radical Industrial Workers of the World convinced German and Mexican miners to unionize and strike for better wages and safety measures, their bosses and neighbors viewed them as traitorous rabble-rousers. That, in turn, resulted in the Bisbee Deportation of July 12, 1917, carried out by sheriff Harry Wheeler and a 2,000-man posse supported by bigwigs of the region’s mining conglomerates. Seized at gunpoint by white armband-sporting gunmen, the powerless Bisbee proletariat were summarily shipped off to the middle of nowhere, New Mexico, via box car - a mode of transportation whose unmistakable associations to the Holocaust are bolstered by the presence of an Israeli transplant’s participation in the subsequent proceedings.

  Producer: Bennett Elliott, Dan Cogan, Davis Guggenheim, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Susan Bedusa
  Company:
  Country: United States
  Language: English

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