Bisbee ’17


In the summer of 1917, Bisbee, Arizona—home to a massive copper mine and a large population of Mexican and Eastern European immigrants—was the site of a shocking series of events. As miners unionized and went on strike, tensions mounted, culminating in the deputizing of 2,000 men at the behest of the mining company. This posse then took the unfathomable action of rounding up over 1,200 striking miners, putting them on cattle cars, and taking them to New Mexico, where they were abandoned in the desert. Known as the Bisbee Deportation, this dark day in the town’s history occasions a peculiar centennial commemoration: a large-scale reenactment, binding the present to a not-distant-enough past. As the town prepares for the re-creation, interviews and observations reveal that while some resident participants were unaware of the deportation, others knew all too well—haunted by the actions of their ancestors on both sides of the struggle. Searing and insightful, formally inventive and dynamic, Bisbee ’17 reconsiders the meaning of George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  TM

Q&A following screening


Robert Greene


Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Bennett Elliott


Robert Greene


Jarred Alterman

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

118 minutes


Partially subtitled