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Published on May 4, 2017
Charles Burnett’s KILLER OF SHEEP—40TH Anniversary, First Time on DCP KILLER OF SHEEP and BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS, two landmarks of American independent cinema, will open Wednesday, May 17 for exclusive theatrical engagements at IFC Center. Named to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress, the films represent two high-water marks from the “L.A. Rebellion,” a group of African-American filmmakers who came out of UCLA in the 1960s-1980s that also included Haile Gerima (Sankofa) and Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust). Directors Charles Burnett and Billy Woodberry will each appear in person for post-screening Q&As on opening night of the engagements. Charles Burnett’s KILLER OF SHEEP (1977) is perhaps one of the most influential works of American independent filmmaking. An inspiration cited by artists including Barry Jenkins, David Gordon Green, Ava DuVernay and Mos Def, Burnett’s lyrical, neorealist portrait of a struggling African-American family in L.A.’s Watts neighborhood was little seen until a major restoration by Ross Lipman for the UCLA Film and Television Archive was released nationally by Milestone Films in 2007 (including a smash 12-week run at IFC Center). Newly available on DCP to celebrate its 40th anniversary, KILLER OF SHEEP remains as emotionally powerful and starkly beautiful as ever.