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8 May 2016: To Sleep with Anger


To Sleep with Anger
Charles Burnett
1990 | 98 min | Colour | 35mm

"After the neorealism of Killer of Sheep and the slice-of-life tragicomedy My Brother’s Wedding, To Sleep with Anger finds Charles Burnett fashioning a kind of cinematic magic realism by infusing modern-day melodrama with elements from the trickster narratives of African American folklore and even bits of the horror film. At a time when the Great Migration of the first half of the 20th century, that had seen millions of Blacks move north and west, was starting to reverse direction, Burnett tells a tale of a mysterious figure from "back home" who unsettles a middle-class family in Los Angeles when he suddenly shows up at their door. A complex meditation on the precarious place of the Black bourgeoisie in American society, To Sleep with Anger alternately warms and chills." – David Pendleton

Part of our Charles Burnett season