26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Black Celebration

Black Celebration

director: Tony Cokes
original title: Black Celebration
country: United States
year: 1988
running time: 17 min.


The film's reflection on the violent riots that erupted in  Black American communities of major American cities in the 1960s is strongly influenced by Guy Debord's situationism. The film's clip-like structure, in which the musical production of such 1980’s performers as Morissey and Skinny Puppy plays an important role, combines images from news programmes and poeticised lyrics during a specific reading of protest riots as a rejection of the logic of capital and the commodification of our lives. The destruction of urban space was not just an expression of anger, but a radical political gesture thrown at the establishment.


„Only African Americans can talk about issues of race. They speak from a certain position of experience. While that experience is specific, it’s not isolated or exclusive.“ T. Cokes


Tony Cokes (1956) lives in Providence, Rhode Island where he also teaches at the university. He specialises in video and multimedia installations. In his work, he often uses the form of an essay, combining fragments of archival images with quotes in the form of written texts or a voiceover. Thematically, he focuses on the ideological component of representation in the media, especially with regard to racial and sexual differences.

more about film

director: Tony Cokes
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy