Killer Of Sheep is an undisputed masterpiece of African-American filmmaking and one of the most poetic, perceptive dramas ever made about family and community. This acclaimed tale of a disillusioned slaughterhouse worker-and the solace to be found in the simplest moments of life-is tender, witty, and affectionate. With lovely neorealist photography - capturing the long, hot days of 1970s Los Angeles - and a gorgeous blues soundtrack (Dinah Washington, Paul Robeson and Little Walter all feature) the film has a quiet emotional power.
- Killer of Sheep review by CP Customer
Killer of Sheep is an interesting anecdote, a diversion to the majority of American films from the 70’s. It captures the poverty and hand to mouth existence of many African-Americans of the period. Living in the ghetto it focuses mainly on one family who try to stay legal and earn enough dollars to feed and clothe. Filmed in a black n white with an almost documentary style it is very distinctive. The low budget origins of the piece are well known, as is the fact that it took 30 years to be seen after completion. This adds to the time capsule effect it clearly demonstrates; yet nostalgia isn’t everything. The soundtrack is a perfect foil for the gritty images on screen and at times dialogue is rarely heard, allowing the blues to take centre stage. Killer of Sheep is a snapshot of a bygone age, restored to its former glory and for many its reputation grew by word of mouth. Being unable to actually see the film until now added to that mystique and like the majority of video nasties of the early 80’s, hearing and actually experiencing are two entirely different things altogether.