Killer of Sheep
Directed by Charles Burnett
Running time: 81 minutes
Directed by Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep (1977) depicts Watts, a black ghetto of Los Angeles in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a slaughterhouse worker growing restless with the daily toil of his life. Frustrated by financial hardship, Stan enjoys the few moments of beauty in his tough life – slowly dancing with his wife in his living room, for example, or holding his daughter. A stark documentary, the film offers no solutions, just life as it is, hauntingly bleak but sometimes filled with pockets of joy. Killer of Sheep was shot on location in Watts during a year's worth of weekends on a tiny budget of less than $10,000 during 1972 and 1973, with additional shooting in 1975. Finished in 1977, the film's reputation has grown and it won the the Berlin International Film Festival prize in 1988. Often likened to Italian neo-realism, this mosaic of austere working-class life remained in obscurity for over 30 years due to problems over rights for its ambitious musical score, a collage of Afro-American music from different genres and eras.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.