“Bisbee ’17” plays Friday, Oct. 12, at the SIFF Film Center, 305 Harrison St.

There is a lot of forgotten history in Bisbee, Arizona.

Their baseball field, for instance, which has staked a claim as the oldest operating baseball diamond in the country. Or, take the fact that approximately eight years after it was built it was the home to one of Bisbee’s greatest shames.

The Bisbee Deportation was the kidnapping and deportation of nearly 1,200 folks from the town, who either were on strike from the local mine or expressed support for the strike. On July 12, 1917, they were rounded up at gunpoint at the baseball diamond, loaded onto cattle cars and carted off 200 miles through the desert, with little to no food or water. And then, the incident was largely erased from history; the mining company owned the town, and they didn’t want it spoken about.

A reemergence and recreation of the great deportation is the subject of the new “Bisbee ‘17,” tracking the reenactment that the town puts on to learn its own history. And it’s unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen.

The documentary is separated into chapters, although those do little to distinguish much of the story as it unfolds. As the film snakes its way through preparation and interviews with townspeople — who explain their knowledge of the incident, why they’re participating, and if (or how) they sympathize with their character — it fluidly slides into cinematic shots of the recreation itself. It isn’t so much that reality is blurred, but time itself; when the International Workers of the World protest from 1917 chants into a bright blue, clearly modern car driving by, the gap between 1917 and 2017 feels malleable at best.

Not to mention the issues at hand that bubble up to the surface for the townsfolk: Miles from the Mexican border, next to a town that loudly celebrates the Second Amendment, reenacting the separation of workers from their families, in an event at least one historian on film argues was nothing short of an “ethnic cleansing” — to put it bluntly, it feels timely.

Watching “Bisbee ‘17,” there’s an internal urge at points to just cut to the chase already and show us the actual reenactment. But the film knows that, when retelling history, it’s easier to just dive in and get out unscathed than it is to meticulously build a world, a connection. By taking your time, slowly building, the final chapter hits a lot harder than it’d expect, for everyone.

And though there may still be a lingering desire for the documentary to spell itself out more, its ability to weave a rich tapestry of people, beliefs and history to reckon with in the heart of America makes Bisbee and “Bisbee” easy to explore and hard to condemn. What’s clear at the end is that the U.S. has always struggled with who gets to be an American. Now, we just get to tweet about it.