As a pendant to the “L.A. Rebellion” program, the Harvard Film Archive is pleased to present a reprise screening of Charles Burnett’s third feature film from a new print, thanks to Sony Pictures’ preservation department.
Sunday May 5 at 7pm
Directed by Charles Burnett. With Danny Glover, Richard Brooks, Mary Alice, Carl Lumbly
US 1990, 35mm, color, 102 min
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