Documentary is eerily pertinent in light of today’s immigration crisis.
On July 17, 1917, 1,200 miners of mostly Eastern-European and Mexican descent were rounded up by a group of 2,000 armed and deputized citizens and forced out of the small town of Bisbee, Arizona for striking against Phelps Dodge.
The roundup, organized by Phelps Dodge, the American mining company that owned the copper mines in the town, had the miners transported to the New Mexico desert in cattle cars and left them stranded with no provisions and threats against returning to Bisbee.
Bisbee, located seven miles north of the Mexican border, is filled with old mines (the last of which was shut down in 1975) that made the town one of the richest in the state during the World War I era.
It also serves as the subject of Robert Greene’s Sundance-premiered documentary “Bisbee ‘17.” Greene traveled to the town on the centennial of the deportation to revisit part of the town’s history that is rarely, if ever, talked about.
Interviews with town residents, shots of the town, its landscape, and the huge copper mine that was turned into a tourist attraction in the 1970s, along with footage of town-wide preparations to reenact the events, are mixed together to tell the story of this border town and its forgotten ethnic cleansing.
Read the story at Paste.
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