Wed 20 Mar '19 - Film

AWL_029: BISBEE ’17

Documentary x Western x Musical. An old mining town finally reckons with its darkest day: the deportation of 1200 immigrant miners exactly 100 years ago.

by Robert Greene
2018, 112 minutes, USA

Radically combining collaborative documentary, western and musical elements,
the film follows several members of the close knit community as they attempt to
reckon with their town’s darkest hour. In 1917, nearly two-thousand immigrant
miners, on strike for better wages and safer working conditions, were violently
rounded up by their armed neighbours, herded onto 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.

The film documents locals as they play characters and stage dramatic scenes
from the controversial story, culminating in a large scale recreation of the
deportation itself on the exact day of its 100th anniversary. These dramatized
scenes are based on subjective versions of the story and offer conflicting views
of the event, underscoring 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.

Wednesday March 20th
Doors open: 20.15
Start screening: 20.30