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My Brother's Wedding

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My favorite of Charles Burnett's three features (the other two are Killer of Sheep and To Sleep With Anger) focuses on the family pressure exerted on a young man in Watts (Everett Silas) who works at his parents' dry cleaners--pressure to abandon his disreputable ghetto friends and adjust to a more middle-class existence. This struggle is pushed to the limit when he has to choose between attending his older brother's wedding to a woman from an affluent family and attending the funeral of his best friend, a former juvenile delinquent. Burnett's acute handling of actors (most of whom are nonprofessionals) never falters, and his gifts as a storyteller make this a movie that steadily grows in impact and resonance as one watches. If a better film has been made about black ghetto life, I haven't seen it (1983). (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday and Saturday, January 11 and 12, 6:30 and 9:00; Sunday, January 13, 5:00 and 7:30; and Monday through Thursday, January 14 through 17, 6:30 and 9:00; 281-4114)

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