Best Movies by Farr
Killer of Sheep Poster
Released Runtime Category
1977 81 Drama
Director Language
Charles Burnett English
Henry Gayle Sanders, Kaycee Moore

Killer of Sheep

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What's it About

Living hand to mouth in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Stan (Sanders) toils at a slaughterhouse, where the dispiriting and mind-numbing routine of dispatching livestock leaves him emotionally remote from his wife (Moore) and young son. Under these circumstances, life's pleasures come in small and unexpected ways.

Why we love it

Burnett's tender, affecting film, a landmark in American independent cinema, hasn't much of a plot, content instead to observe the melancholic daily existence of an impoverished African-American neighborhood. But its neorealist aesthetic, lugubrious pace, and minimal storyline are the ingredients for a surprisingly moving film that depicts ghetto life with lasting beauty and an authentic sense of humanity. Both touching and heartbreaking, with a sweet jazz score setting a mood of inner yearning, "Killer of Sheep," hidden away too long, should be at the top of your must-see list.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"