Milestone, Steven Soderbergh and Turner Classic Movies present one of the most famous and acclaimed films by an African-American filmmaker. Charles Burnett's KILLER OF SHEEP was one of the first 50 films to be selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and was chosen by the National Society of Film Critics as one of the 100 Essential Films. But, due to music licensing problems, the film was rarely screened, and then only in ragged 16mm prints. UCLA Film & Television Archives' dazzling 35mm restoration of this landmark film opened the world's eyes to one of the great films of cinema.
Charles Burnett’s films focus on everyday life in black communities in a manner unseen in American cinema, combining incredibly lyrical elements with a starkly neo-realist, documentary-style approach that chronicles the unfolding story with depth and riveting simplicity.
In KILLER OF SHEEP, the protagonist, employed at the slaughterhouse, is suffering from the emotional side effects of his bloody occupation to such a degree that his entire life unhinges. His refusal to become involved in the similarly destructive, but human-focused occupations of his more affluent friends and acquaintances becomes the odd obstacle to the family’s well being. Burnett once said of the film, “[Stan’s] real problems lie within the family, trying to make that work and be a human being. You don’t necessarily win battles; you survive.”
KILLER OF SHEEP: THE CHARLES BURNETT COLLECTION features the restored version of this great film, two versions of Burnett's wonderful second feature film, MY BROTHER'S WEDDING, four short films (Several Friends, The Horse, When it Rains and Quiet as Kept), a commentary track featuring Richard Peña and Charles Burnett, and a short film by Ross Lipman of the 2007 cast reunion.
KILLER OF SHEEP and MY BROTHER'S WEDDING are available in 35mm prints for theatrical and nontheatrical screenings. Contact Milestone for price and availability!
This DVD is also available for Institutional Purchase, which includes public performance rights and a 3-year streaming license. Please click on the “Format” button and select “DVD Institutional Rate.”
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