Near the Jugular

Killer of Sheep

A classic of African-American realist cinema depicting everyday life in 70s LA.

Image from Killer of Sheep

1978 USA
Dir Charles Burnett
With Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy
Certificate 12A

A classic of African-American cinema and US indie filmmaking, Burnett’s first feature centres on a slaughterhouse worker living in Watts, Los Angeles, with his wife and two children. It’s an ultra-realist depiction of their everyday lives, with little narrative thrust but plenty of telling details. The soundtrack is terrific too.

Bassam & Riz: Black dignity. Every frame of this film is affirming, ‘We are enough, we are enough, we are enough, just as we are.’ It will expand your heart with its wordless, cinematic power. Melt with its power.