In 1917, in the Arizona town of Bisbee, workers at a local mine went on strike for better wages and safer working conditions. What followed remains a shocking yet little-known episode in the US history of labour relations: approximately 1200 workers, mostly immigrants, were rounded up by their armed neighbours and deported to the middle of the New Mexican desert where they were left to die.
A century later, documentarian Robert Greene arrived in Bisbee to chronicle an attempt by the townspeople to reconstruct and reckon with what took place. Following from Actress and Kate Plays Christine, Bisbee ’17 confirms Greene as one of the leading makers of non-fiction in the US. This latest work is a haunting tribute to a forgotten struggle, in which the ghosts of the past engage with the concerns of those living today.