in about 100 words or less
US 81m, B&W
Director: Charles Burnett; Cast: Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett
Killer of Sheep is a low-budget film school documentary style dramatization of African-American life in the Watts District of Los Angeles, California during the late 1970s. Lacking any real plot, but drawing on the film maker’s own experiences, this simple film is a series of days in the life of its characters, whose lives are characterized by monotony and boredom. Working in a slaughterhouse, Stan supports his wife and two children, while his friends attempt to convince him to join them in criminal activities as a means to break free from the daily toil of his mundane existence. Employing largely non-professional actors and shooting primarily on-location, Burnett’s film is unique for its time, especially when compared to contemporary African-American film makers, many of who were making “Blaxploitation” style films (Klaus Ming June 2011).