Power's War
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Power's War

2015, History  -   10 Comments
Ratings: 8.10/10 from 42 users.

One of Arizona's deadliest shootouts occurred in February of 1918. As the United States began their foray into World War I, the Power family committed the crime of abstaining from the military draft. A family of miners who lived in an isolated cabin in Rattlesnake Canyon, father Jeff and sons Charles, John and Tom were surrounded by law enforcement on the morning of the 10th, and a vicious gun fight ensued. After a few excruciating minutes of unrelenting gunfire, the children were wounded and several others were dead, including three officers and the patriarch of the Power clan. "Power's Tale" attempts to unravel the many layers of myth and exaggerations that have cloaked this popular tale for generations.

When the three children fled to Mexico to evade capture, law enforcement mounted the largest manhunt in Arizona history. Eventually catching up to their prey, they were on the hook for a great deal more than draft evasion. They were each incarcerated on charges of premeditated murder. The boys, meanwhile, claimed self defense against a raging ambush. In the end, the brothers were given the longest sentences ever bestowed upon prisoners up until that time in Arizona history.

The irresistible allure of old Western myth makes the film undeniably appealing. But it really finds its power in its depiction of a time and place in America; a setting that still informs the country's reality today. The parallels have echoed throughout history. It was a period of great divisions and hostilities over the war, a climate where government intrusion was becoming a growing concern among many unassuming Americans, and a landscape where purposeful misinformation campaigns were becoming increasingly rampant.

Narrated by actor John Slattery (Mad Men), the film's immaculate production includes handsome animations, archival photos, a meticulous delineation between legend and fact, and revealing interviews with historians, authors, and surviving family members. So much pertinent information has been lost to the ravages of time and accepted folklore, but the filmmakers take great care in reconstructing the most probable account of these events. It's a barnburner of a story, and essential history well told.

Directed by: Cameron Trejo

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10 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Theresa

    very well made documentary. Very sad life they had as a family, but at least their story got to be told.

  2. Mark Gaboury

    Such a well done documentary. The scenes and drawings and the voice are perfect. And the length was just right. Since it is difficult to figure out if a war is just or not, given what the media are like, men should be allowed to refuse going to war. And I say this as a former infantryman.

  3. Gumshui

    "Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy. It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." --Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremburg Trials after WW2.

    Interesting that a "slacker" is someone who follows The Constitution in not meddling in Foreign Affairs ...While those in Congress on down to the local governments, disobey The Constitution they swore to uphold, by passing and enforcing UnConstitutional illegal "laws" against dissent (and many other things). One of the top protections of The Constitution: Freedom of Speech. No suspension of the provisions of The Constitution are allowed, ESPECIALLY, in troubled times or crisis. It follows that if they are able to be suspended then troubled times, crisis, or war footing will never end.

    If one wants to learn the actual history of how WWI got started and why, they should view the James Corbett WW1 documentary on his website. I'm surprised it isn't on here yet. Lots of great info on just how long we have been suffering under govt-media propaganda.

    Then read the relatively short (about 8 page) expose' "War Is Racket" by Marine Major General Smedley Butler, deceased, which still applies today as much as ever. It may also be available on audio or video.

  4. Gumshui

    From the storyline: "the filmmakers take great care in reconstructing the most probable account of these events"

    So how is it such storyline writers don't call this a "Conspiracy Theory" while they do call those who do the same, for the events surrounding 911 twin towers, "conspiracy theorists"?

    It just shows how few can resist infecting everything with their personal or agenda bias these days.

  5. Uma Maheswar Nakka

    Past history is always a valuable subject to know, learn and share.
    Thanks and regards.

  6. Dan

    Very well done; a riveting piece of American history I'd never heard of before.

  7. J Miller

    Funny how it always takes 20 times the amount of the "good guys" to bring down a couple of "bad guys" . What a cowardly and corrupt country I've been born into.

    1. Alvin Congere

      Get over it.

    2. Digital Bookworm

      @Alvin Congere - Until it's you or a loved one.
      Then it'll be waaaaa! ? Why me?

    3. Rew

      You said it ,I as well feel the same way . S hard to swallow pisses me off. And I suspect if we any say in the matter things would have been different