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Bisbee ’17

  • Directed by Robert Greene
  • United States, 2018, 124 mins, English

In 1917, Bisbee, Arizona, was witness to a heinous, violent, racist event: the expulsion of 1,200 immigrant copper miners who were boarded into train cars and sent to the remote desert to die following their attempted organization by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The Bisbee Deportation has since lingered in the town’s history and imagination. Today, Bisbee could be called a liberal outpost in a red state, but remnants of this racist past nonetheless remain. Filmmaker Robert Greene (Fake it So Real, Actress, Kate Plays Christine) drops into Bisbee for the event’s 100th anniversary, blending several documentary modes with the western, musical, and telenovela genres to create a vital sketch of a town at a crossroads, deeply resonant and engaging with the struggle for immigrant and labor rights raging today. “A large-scale study of political psychology, an expedition of historical archeology, and a form of drama therapy for a community that, in crucial ways, reflects the pathologies and the conflicts of the country at large. With microcosms of microcosms and reflections of reflections, Greene offers a passionately ambitious, patiently empathetic mapping of modern times.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker. “We know, watching, that this isn’t just about Bisbee. It’s about us, people who live in a country that has rarely been willing to face the specters that lurk among us. The ghosts of our collective past live right outside our frame of vision, but they haunt us just the same.”—Alissa Wilkinson, Vox.

Genres: Documentary

Other Films by Robert Greene

Kate Plays Christine

A gripping, non-fiction psychological thriller, Robert Greene’s film follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil (House of Cards, The Girlfriend Experience, Listen Up Philip) as she prepares for her next role: playing Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates Chubbuck’s story (long rumored to be the inspiration for the