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ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES | 32 Second Avenue | New York, NY 10003 | Tuesday, August 6 at 7:00 PM
click here to read and see more about Tompkins Square Park Police Riot
Trailer  |  3:03 min
Clayton Patterson | TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK POLICE RIOT AUGUST 1988 | 213 min, video, b&w

Clayton Patterson’s life changed dramatically on the night of August 6-7, 1988 when he gained notoriety for videotaping the Tompkins Square Park police riot in which the NYPD violently clashed with protesters and park dwellers until the sun came up the next day. In what was the first of many legal cases for Patterson concerning artists’ rights to their work and freedom of expression, he was arrested and jailed for refusing to give up his tape which is the only concrete account of what really happened that night.

The actions of officers against neighborhood residents, homeless individuals, affordable housing advocates, anarchists, squatters, and others resulted in the filing of over 100 complaints of police brutality. This footage was important evidence in the investigations and legal proceedings that followed, and several officers were disciplined or criminally indicted. The city also paid an estimated $2-3 million in settlements to the injured.

Despite the tape’s infamy, few have ever actually seen it…especially in its entirety. Here, on the 25th anniversary of its creation, we’re going to change that.

Clayton Patterson will be in person to present the screening!

Special thanks to Kyle Aviles Timlin.


Anthology Film Archives is an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video, with a particular focus on independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema.

Founded in 1969 by Jonas Mekas, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, and Stan Brakhage, Anthology in its original conception was a showcase for the Essential Cinema Repertory collection. An ambitious attempt to define the art of cinema by means of a selection of films which would screen continuously, the Essential Cinema collection was intended to encourage the study of the medium’s masterworks as works of art rather than disposable entertainment, making Anthology the first museum devoted to film as an art form. The project was never completed, but even in its unfinished state it represented an uncompromising critical overview of cinema’s history, and remains a crucial part of Anthology’s exhibition program.

In the decades since its founding, Anthology has grown far beyond its original concept to encompass film preservation; the formation of a reference library containing the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals, stills, and other paper materials related to avant-garde cinema; and a remarkably innovative and eclectic film exhibition program. Anthology screens more than 900 programs annually, preserves an average of 25 films per year (with 800 works preserved to date), publishes books and DVDs, and hosts numerous scholars and researchers.

Fueled by the conviction that the index of a culture’s health and vibrancy lies largely in its margins, in those works of art that are created outside the commercial mainstream, Anthology strives to advance the cause and protect the heritage of a kind of cinema that is in particular danger of being lost, overlooked, or ignored