USA 2018; 118 mins
A lyrical journey through America’s past and present, Bisbee ’17 revisits the infamous Bisbee Deportation of 1917, during which 1,200 striking miners in a small Arizona town were violently removed from their homes and transported in freight cars to the middle of the desert. But in this unconventional investigation, boundary-breaking filmmaker Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine) combines interviews with current residents of Bisbee with staged reenactments, performed by the locals, whose relatives took part in the tragic event. One of them jokingly compares the reenactments to a “large group therapy session.” Anchored by the story of one young Hispanic resident, who experiences his own emotional and political awakening through the process of the film, Bisbee ‘17 “offers a passionately ambitious, patiently empathetic mapping of modern times” (The New Yorker). Hailed already as “among the best documentaries you’ll see this year” (RogerEbert.com), critics are raving that Bisbee ’17 “confirms that director Robert Greene is one of America’s finest new voices in nonfiction” (Variety).
Robert Greene is a filmmaker and writer. His most recent film, KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE (2016) won a Jury Award for Writing at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Robert’s previous documentaries include the Gotham Awardsnominated ACTRESS (2014), FAKE IT SO REAL (2011) and the Gotham Awards nominated KATI WITH AN I (2010). Robert was among four filmmakers chosen as an inaugural Sundance Art of Nonfiction fellow in 2015. He’s a two-time nominee for Best Director at the Cinema Eye Honors. Robert has edited over a dozen features, including GOLDEN EXITS (2017), QUEEN OF EARTH (2015) and LISTEN UP PHILIP (2014) by Alex Ross Perry, Amanda Rose Wilder’s award winning APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT (2014), Charles Poekel’s Spirit Awards nominated CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (2015) and Douglas Tirola’s HEY BARTENDER. Robert writes about documentary for outlets such as Sight & Sound and serves as the Filmmaker-in-Chief for the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.
Followed by Q+A