“Killer of Sheep caught the lives of the children with a fidelity to how kids really do fight, play, and cry — and how they can sometimes be cruel simply because they’re so scared.”
— ROGER EBERT
“If Killer of Sheep were an Italian film from 1953, we would have every scene memorized.”
— MICHAEL TOLKIN, SCREENWRITER
This is perhaps my favorite cult classic movie of all. With very sparse dialogue, and a 1950s R&B soundtrack, the film is most telling through the soulful, grey images it engrains in viewers’ hearts: a herd of brown children, running in a dusty, vacant lot, dwarfed by dark, stoic palm trees; or a little girl clinging to a cyclone fence, face hidden by a grotesque rubber mask. Killer of Sheep records mid-70s Watts through Stan, “a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse”, according to killerofsheep.com. “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”. One day Stan conjures up one more plan, one more dream… to make a better life for his family, but to what avail?
Killer of Sheep absolutely breaks your heart and rouses your senses, as well.