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Rebel Frontier

65mins (2003)

Dir: Desmond Bell

Prod: Robin MacPherson

Asylum Pictures/ RTE/ US PBS

Re-recording Mixer

Narrated by Martin Sheen, (Apocalypse Now, Badlands, The West Wing) REBEL FRONTIER is an anti-war film which documents America’s immigrant communities struggle against the national security state. The war in question is the First World War and the anti-war protesters were the Irish and Finnish miners of Butte, Montana a copper-mining town high in the Rockies. The film vividly recounts how in 1917, at the height of World War 1, the Irish and Finnish emigrants buried their ethnic rivalries in a campaign for social justice. With Butte’s mines at the very heart of the US war machine, the miners banded together to take on both the Copper barons and the US state as America entered the war. REBEL FRONTIER uses extensive film and photograph archive, personal testimony and dramatic reconstruction to uncover this forgotten but crucial chapter in American history. It reveals how in a tense and sometimes violent time, a coalition of radicalised Finnish and Irish miners were prepared to take on the power of both the Copper Barons and the US state.

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