Shown in conjunction with Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-time Star, Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer increasingly detached from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse.
The film was shot on 16mm black-and-white film on a budget of less than $10,000. Finished in 1977, it was never shown theatrically or made available on video due to issues of music rights (the soundtrack features songs by Etta James, Dinah Washington, Gershwin, Rachmaninov, Paul Robeson, and Earth, Wind & Fire). Thirty years later, the film was restored by UCLA and remastered from 16 to 35mm.
The National Society of Film Critics has selected Killer of Sheep as one of the “100 Essential Films” of all time.