Bisbee ’17

Bisbee ’17

Robert Greene | 
US |
 2018 | 
118 minutes

In 1917, nearly two-thousand immigrant miners from Bisbee, Arizona went on strike for better wages and safer working conditions. They were violently rounded up by their armed neighbors, herded into cattle cars, shipped to the middle of the New Mexican desert, and left there to die. This long-buried and largely forgotten event came to be known as the Bisbee Deportation.

One hundred years later, filmmaker Robert Greene visits the small border town seven miles north of Mexico to stage a dramatization of the events in collaboration with locals. The result is an impressive, large-scale recreation of the deportation that underscores the difficulty of collective memory, while confronting the current political predicaments of immigration, unionization, environmental damage and corporate corruption with direct, haunting messages about solidarity and struggle. Bisbee ‘17 cleverly straddles the line between fiction and reality by combining collaborative documentary, western and musical elements.

The result is a singularly American riff on The Act of Killing, a fascinating and dream-like mosaic that’s less driven by residual anger than by cockeyed concern, less interested in exhuming the past than in revealing its value to the present.” - INDIEWIRE


Robert Greene

Robert Greene is a filmmaker and writer, a two-time nominee for Best Director at the Cinema Eye Honors, and was among four filmmakers chosen as an inaugural Sundance Art of Nonfiction fellow in 2015. His most recent film, KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE (2016) won a Jury Award for Writing at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Robert’s previous documentaries include the Gotham Awards nominated ACTRESS (2014), FAKE IT SO REAL (2011), and the Gotham Awards nominated KATI WITH AN I (2010). Robert has edited over a dozen features, including GOLDEN EXITS (2017), QUEEN OF EARTH (2015) and LISTEN UP PHILIP (2014),  APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT (2014), CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (2015), and HEY BARTENDER. Robert writes about documentary for outlets such as Sight & Sound and serves as the Filmmaker-in-Chief for the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.