Private Project

The Co-op Wars

In the 1970s, young people in Minnesota radicalized by the Vietnam War created a unique alternative economy featuring dozens of food cooperatives, but a shadowy revolutionary group used conflicts over class and race to try to seize the movement. The ensuing clash pitted friends and comrades in a sometimes violent conflict over the future of the counterculture. Long after natural foods co-ops have become mainstream institutions, the question of who the co-ops are for finds echoes in the struggle for food justice today.

  • Deacon Warner
    Bee-Sharp Honeybee
  • Erik Esse
  • Peter Coyote
    Ken Burns' The Vietnam War, Country Music, The Roosevelts,
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    59 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 19, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    45,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    1080 24P
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
    Minneapolis, MN
    United States
    May 18, 2021
    Official Selection, Best of the Fest encore
  • Just Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    July 2, 2021
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Deacon Warner

Deacon Warner transitioned into documentary filmmaking after twelve years teaching social studies in Minneapolis Public Schools. At North High he founded Polar Producers, an award winning youth media program. As an independent filmmaker, Deacon has produced over 20 short independent films as well as many promotional films for non-profits and artists. His most recent film, Bee-Sharp Honeybee, premiered at the 2018 Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival and played at numerous other festivals nationally and internationally. In addition to his independent film work, Deacon has been the Youth Programs Director at FilmNorth (previously known as IFP Minnesota) since 2008. At FilmNorth he teaches video production through in-school residencies, oversees an after school video production program and coordinates youth summer programming. The Co-op Wars is his first documentary feature.

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