Killer of Sheep

Charles Burnett

An extremely sensitive, personal and political portrayal of the fate of black American working poor. In the poverty-stricken district of Watts, several years after the massive rebellion, Stan tries his very best to maintain his family. An iconic and widely-praised masterpiece by L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Charles Burnett.

How do you prepare a child for a vulnerable existence? A man punishes his son because he didn’t fight to defend his little brother. Even though he is still a child, he must already be a man. This opening scene painfully summarises the drama. The daily battle for existence and the lack of a future serve to numb Stan and alienate him from his feelings and his family. The children playing in the rubble are the innocent, unsuspecting heirs to this painful reality. Yet hope gleams in the small moments of tenderness experienced by Stan. 
This iconic film in American cinema, written, directed, filmed, edited and produced in 1977 by L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Charles Burnett, was deemed in 2002 by the Library of Congress to be a 'national treasure'. Killer of Sheep was not seen for decades because of a question involving music rights, but is still universally praised as a visionary masterpiece.

Screenings

More information

Filmmaker
Charles Burnett
Country
USA
Year
1978
Medium
35mm
Length
83
Language
English
Producer
Charles Burnett
Sales
Milestone Film & Video
Writer
Charles Burnett
Cinematography
Charles Burnett
Editor
Charles Burnett
Sound Design
Charles Bracy
Cast
Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett, Eugene Cherry, Jack Drummond