The first feature (1977) of the highly talented black filmmaker Charles Burnett, who set most of his early films in Watts (including My Brother's Wedding and To Sleep With Anger); this one deals episodically with the life of a slaughterhouse worker. Shot on a year's worth of weekends for under $10,000, this remarkable work is conceivably the single best feature about ghetto life. It was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry as one of the key works in American cinema--ironic and belated recognition of a film that, until this recent restoration, had virtually no distribution. It shouldn't be missed. With Henry Gayle Sanders. 87 min. Reviewed this week in Section 1. a Music Box. --Jonathan Rosenbaum

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