Killer of Sheep + Short: The Horse

classified 15

bell hooks: Reel to Real


Please note: This was screened in July 2022

Charles Burnett
Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, Angela Burnett, Eugene Cherry, Gordon Houston, Mary Wright, Gary Morrin
106 mins, 1978, USA,USA
Primary language

Not only was Burnett the first visible African American independent filmmaker, but Killer of Sheep attempted to depict the everyday lives of average blue-collar black Americans in south-central Los Angeles, subject matter unexplored in independent film until then.

Stan works in a slaughterhouse. It is work that is alienating him from his family and desensitising him to relationships in the wider world. Yet he continues to get up each day and go to work because he can’t see any other alternatives...

As part of this screening we are also presenting the short film The Horse: A young boy keeps a horse company during its last moments of life in Charles Burnett’s spare, lyrical student film, which poignantly contrasts the callousness of adults with the empathy of children.

With thanks to Milestone Films and Kino Lorber.