Killer of Sheep

Monday, March 14
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1hr 23mins // directed by:Charles Burnett // featuring:Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy

Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse.

Frustrated by money problems, he finds respite in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife in the living room, holding his daughter. The film offers no solutions; it merely presents life — sometimes hauntingly bleak, sometimes filled with transcendent joy and gentle humor.

Killer of Sheep was shot on location in Watts in a series of weekends on a budget of less than $10,000, most of which was grant money. Finished in 1977 and shown sporadically, its reputation grew and grew until it won a prize at the 1981 Berlin International Film Festival. Since then, the Library of Congress has declared it a national treasure as one of the first fifty on the National Film Registry and the National Society of Film Critics selected it as one of the "100 Essential Films" of all time. — Milestone Films

In a post-screening conversation, guests from the Huntington’s production of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned will discuss these two iconic representations of the African-American experience in the 20th century.

In How I Learned What I Learned, Wilson shares stories about his first few jobs, a stint in jail, his lifelong friends, and his encounters with racism, music, and love as a young poet in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Directed by Todd Kreidler and featuring Eugene Lee, both longtime Wilson collaborators, this theatrical memoir charts one man’s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a black artist in America.

Tickets to the Huntington’s production of How I Learned What I Learned (March 5 – April 3, 2016 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre) are available at