The movie was written, directed and shot in Watts while director Charles Burnett was still a student at UCLA -- he submitted it as his masters' thesis in Fine Art. Due to complications with music licensing, though -- the film features a sprawling soundtrack from ragtime-jazz to '60s soul -- Killer of Sheep didn't see an official release until 2007.
Even so, the film attracted considerable critical attention over the years for its compelling portrayal of black American life in South Central Los Angeles as a series of vignettes loosely centered around the protagonist, a slaughterhouse worker named Stan. There's no real plot, no conclusion, but the film's beautiful artistry and brutal honesty make it gripping to watch nonetheless.
It screens tonight at 6: p.m. at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library as part of the library's "Seldom Screened" series devoted to black directors.