Presented By Alfreda's Cinema
"Burnett's documentarian empathy, coupled with his easygoing skill as a dramatic essayist, result in a film that doesn't look, feel or breathe like any American work of its generation." - Chicago Tribune
"A milestone of eloquent understatement that captures the daily life of have-nots as few American movies have." - Boston Globe
"Way ahead of its time 30 years ago, and just as stunning today, Killer of Sheep is one of those marvels of original moviemaking that keeps hope of artistic independence alive." - Entertainment Weekly
Charles Burnett’s films focus on everyday life in black communities in a manner unseen in American cinema, combining incredibly lyrical elements with a starkly neo-realist, documentary-style approach that chronicles the unfolding story with depth and riveting simplicity.
In KILLER OF SHEEP, the protagonist, employed at the slaughterhouse, is suffering from the emotional side effects of his bloody occupation to such a degree that his entire life unhinges. His refusal to become involved in the similarly destructive, but human-focused occupations of his more affluent friends and acquaintances becomes the odd obstacle to the family’s well being. Burnett once said of the film, “[Stan’s] real problems lie within the family, trying to make that work and be a human being. You don’t necessarily win battles; you survive.”
Dir. Charles Burnett. 1978. 83 min.