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Killer of Sheep

Killer of Sheep

Killer of Sheep

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1978 / 82min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: CHARLES BURNETT

“I watched Killer of Sheep when I was at residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. There was just something really poetic about the story of this family and the trials and tribulations of the family patriarch. The film is shot through the lens or from the perspective of the children. There are moments when you’re at the same sight line as the children, and so you see the world through their eyes. And that, for me, resonated because I oftentimes think about what’s happening in the world through the perspective of children, being a teacher for so long, over a decade. There’s one scene where this little brown girl is singing to her white baby doll, sitting on the floor by herself. We’re at her level and she’s singing [Earth, Wind & Fire’s] “Reasons,” but she doesn’t know any of the words, just “La la la.” It’s a really poignant moment because in a way she’s trying to escape through this song, imagining the world through this white baby doll. That’s always a tender scene for me.”—Alexandria Smith