Boxer Rebellion

Director: Celia Cotelo

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Boxer Rebelion is a mesmerizing film. The seamless blend of courageous black-and-white photography and intoxicating music makes this documentary work on many levels, from abstraction to suspenseful storytelling. A notable first feature from New York filmmaker Celia Cotelo, the film is a unique exploration of form. Loosely examining the phenomenal career of “yuppie" fighter David Lawrence while floating through the dark and primitive world of boxing, Cotelo weaves together live footage, video news clips and macabre imagery to create an overall impression of this ritualistic sport. Already a rich and powerful stockbroker, Lawrence initially bought his way Into the boxing world by hiring an exceptional trainer. Unexpectedly, he excelled at the sport, became obsessed by it and went on to compete professionally. All of this is merely background for Cotelo, who reveals Lawrence by exposing his emotional state in a series of highly provocative images. A surreal clown incarnation of Lawrence leads us through these images, sometimes participating and sometimes observing, but constantly reminding us of our own primitivism and voyeurism. The clown fondles a Barbie doll, hangs dollar bills on a clothesline to dry and shows us a small boy innocently grabbing his penis. All the while, we see TV clips of brutal boxing matches. Themes begin to become apparent as we ask ourselves why we like watching men try to kill each other. Like Lawrence, who has ripped off his pin-striped, his rank and his possessions to experience the thrill of life versus death, we viewers are forced to take a long hard look at our own desires.

Saturday Jan 22 3:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Tuesday Jan 25 7:20 pm
Holiday Village Cinema U

Thursdav Jan 27 9:30 am
Prospector Square Theatre

Friday Jan 28 1:20 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details


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