Free Member Screening: Killer of Sheep
New 35mm Print!
Open to BAMPFA members only, this free screening is part of Member Appreciation Month. Not yet a member? Join today!
Henry Gayle Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett,
“A great—the greatest—cinematic tone poem of American urban life” (David Edelstein, New York), Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep evokes the everyday trials, fragile pleasures, and tenacious humor of blue-collar African Americans in 1970s Watts. Burnett made the film on a minuscule budget with a mostly nonprofessional cast, combining keen on-the-street observation with a carefully crafted script. The episodic plot centers on the character of Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), a slaughterhouse worker mired in exhaustion, disconnected from his wife, his children, and himself. Stan and his neighbors struggle just to get by, let alone get ahead; as befits an L.A. movie, vehicular metaphors of breakdown abound. Only the kids, leaping from roof to roof, seem to achieve a mobility that eludes their elders.