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Documentary tells of Deadliest gunfight in Arizona

PHOENIX (Oct.2015) – While the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone is arguably the most infamous in Arizona History, it was not the deadliest. That distinction goes to the February 1918 Power Cabin Shootout. The story has been made into an award-winning documentary, “Power’s War,” by filmmaker Cameron Trejo.The State Archives will host a special screening, 1 p.m., October 23.

Newspaper headlines drove the story of the Power brothers, Tom and John, calling them German sympathizers and anarchists trying to drum up resistance to World War I. The truth was far simpler, yet came to a deadly end in a canyon outside Safford, Ariz.

Trejo said, “What ultimately compelled me to make this film was just how passionate the people of the region still were about the events that transpired so long ago. The truth, as it often turns out, was much stranger, more interesting and more elusive than the many accounts that had been written. I was pulled into a world of historical documents and gifted historians. Two years later, our research revealed that this was a not a typical old west shootout, but a more modern battle which pitted the rights of individuals against the power of growing and expanding federal government. We could not have accomplished what we have with ‘Power’s War’ without the help of the talented and dedicated staff at the Arizona State Archives.”

After the screening, Trejo and the film’s historical consultant, Dr. Heidi Osselaer, will talk about the making of the film, the difficulties encountered when official records disappear and more.

“We will never have all the answers to the story of the Power brothers as many of the records related to the case went missing decades ago at the originating source,” said Dr. Heidi Osselaer the historian on the film. “As a researcher I believe it is vital that we protect all public records for posterity. We cannot write Arizona’s history without them.”

The screening will take place at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building at 1901 W. Madison Street in Phoenix.

For more information about the State Archives and its collections, contact 602-926-3720 or go online to www.azlibrary.gov/arm (link is external). The State Archives is a branch of the State Library, a division of the Secretary of State.

To learn more about “Power’s War” or to purchase the DVD, go online at www.powerswar.com . This is on Vimeo where you can rent it for $2.99 or purchase the DVD for $12.99. 

 

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