Killer of Sheep
The Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s is seen through the eyes of Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), a sensitive dreamer growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse. Frustrated by money problems, he finds respite in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife (Kaycee Moore) to the radio, holding his daughter. Writer/director Charles Burnett offers no solutions, but merely presents the reality of African-American life—sometimes hauntingly bleak, sometimes filled with transcendent joy and humor. Combining lyrical elements with a neorealist documentary style, the family portrait he paints is deeply compassionate.
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