Killer of Sheep

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Killer of Sheep is a 1978 American drama film edited, shot, written, produced, and directed by Charles Burnett. Shot primarily in 1972 and 1973, it was originally submitted by Burnett to the UCLA School of Film in 1977 as his Master of Fine Arts thesis. It features Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, and Charles Bracy, among others, in acting roles.

Why It Rocks

  1. It's simultaneously naturalistic, poetic, witty, and heartbreaking.
  2. The lead character Stan is very easy to follow and relatable too with his constant struggle to retain dignity in the face of grinding deprivation and disquieting temptations, and the alienation that threatens to break him away from his family just adds to all of his pain.
  3. Incredible acting from the entire cast, including Henry Gayle Sanders and Angela Burnett.
  4. It provides a sympathetic yet clear-eyed portrait of the African American community assaulted by poverty and lack of opportunity, yet it manages to remain partially hopeful.
  5. Incredible camerawork and cinematography.
  6. Powerful and meaningful soundtrack.
  7. The film may be non-narrative, without the usual acts, plot arcs or character development, but the subplots and overall message of the stories is pretty clear, and the story routes are incredibly unpredictable.