Bisbee ’17

PG, 112 minutes


The screening will be followed by a post-show discussion with Daniel Gonzalez, PhD Student in Geography & GEO member, Carolina Ortega, PhD Candidate in History & GEO Solidarity Committee Officer, and Tariq Khan, PhD Candidate in History and GEO member.

BISBEE ’17 is a nonfiction feature film by award-winning filmmaker Robert Greene set in Bisbee, Arizona, an eccentric old mining town just miles away from both Tombstone and the Mexican border.

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 neighbors, 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. (2018, Robert Greene, USA, English, 112 min, PG, DCP)

“[A] profoundly haunted and haunting film. What we are witnessing is not the commemoration of a past disaster but its reanimation. Every important thing this movie is about is still alive.” — A.O. Scott, New York Times

“The sheer audacity and originality of the exercise makes it a must-see, regardless of what you might think of the success or failure of any particular choice.” — Matt Zoller Seitz,

“Greene’s movie… grows into an adventurous exercise in drama-documentary; what could have seemed arch or awkward is handled with grace and tact, and there is even a song.” — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“Bisbee ’17 is a fierce, lyrical probe into the soul of a town haunted by a history it would rather forget. It’s also an unsettling cipher for America, in a year when the ghosts of our past revealed themselves in frightening ways.” — Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

Migrant Solidarity is a nation-wide series of films presented by movie theaters and community centers across the U.S. as an act of cinematic solidarity with migrants. The series is presented in collaboration with The Seventh Art Stand, a national initiative promoting civil rights discussion through film.

*The Art Theater’s Migrant Solidarity Series is made possible thanks to support from:


About the Author

Back to Top ↑