In an old Arizona copper mining town, a close-knit community reckons with the mistakes of the past while unearthing crucial lessons for the present. Director Robert Greene blurs the lines of traditional documentary form, engaging the townspeople of Bisbee, Arizona in a dramatic reenactment of the most devastating episode in its history. In 1917, 1300 mostly migrant mine workers were loaded onto a train and taken to the middle of the desert where they were left to die. A brutal act of retaliation against labor organizing efforts, the "Bisbee Deportation" still haunts the town and defines the relationship of the community to its ancestors.
Although 2000 miles from the Keweenaw, the Bisbee mining district had been built by men from Calumet, Michigan. The Calumet and Arizona Mining Company, which cooperated with the other companies orchestrating the deportation, had officers with close family ties to our northern copper mines. It is a story that will be both new and familiar to those interested in our own local mining history, one that offers poignant reflection on what can happen when communities reexamine, rather than bury, troubling history.
Director Robert Greene will participate in a Q&A following the film (via Skype). He will be joined by Dr. Sarah Scarlett, Assistant Professor of History, Dr. LouAnn Wurst, Professor of Archaeology, and Jo Holt, historian at the Keweenaw Historic Park.
The festival thanks its generous sponsors. Major sponsorship provided by the Department of Humanities, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.
Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
All events are free and open to the public. They will be held in Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on the Michigan Tech campus. Please see the Festival Admission page for information about how to get in.
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Visit the Archives to see festival programs from years past.
Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.