Archives / 1990 Sundance Film Festival

To Sleep with Anger

Director: Charles Burnett

Screenwriters: Charles Burnett

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival

Description

To Sleep with Anger is Charles Burnett's latest drama of conflict about a contemporary black family mired down by the brooding presence of self-destruction. Full of poetic realism, and rich in folklore and history, it is a tale of the delicate relationships hanging precariously in balance within the three-generational family. Into the midst of this volatile situation comes a man whose presence disturbs the few who can see his true face.

The man is Harry Mention-charmer, trickster and fabulous storyteller. A friend from the earlier days of Gideon's life, Harry conjures up the Deep South and a dark past. Arriving unannounced with a box full of belongings, he is welcomed with open arms as family by Gideon and his wife Suzie. But Harry is not family; he is an enigmatic stranger whose folklore and mystery divide the family even further. He especially affects Gideon's two sons, Babe Brother and Junior. While the alienated Babe Brother finds a role model in Harry, junior feels him to be a frightening influence.

Set in South Central Los Angeles, To Sleep with Anger is an intense drama that unleashes a powerful, unsuspecting force with amazing dexterity and unsettling seductiveness. With a pace both delicate and controlled, Burnett creates a drama tight with the relentless sense of danger and an unexplainable feeling that there is wore lurking under its surface. Like Something Wicked This ""y Comes, this melodrama touches a chord of primordial fear that makes it absolutely riveting. A visual delight complimented by a superb cast, To Sleep with Anger is ripe with metaphors which effortlessly add to the richness of the text. This film maybe a departure from Burnett's earlier work, such as Killer of Sheep, in its refined presentation, but it is a no-less accomplished film which reaffirms his unique vision and importance as an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles.


Monday, January 22 7:00p.m.
Egyptian Theatre

Wednesday, January 24 4:00p.m.
Prospector Square Theatre

Thursday, January 25 4:00p.m.
Egyptian Theatre

Friday, January 26 1:00 p.m.
Egyptian Theatre

Saturday, January 27 7:00 p.m.
Sundance Screening Room

$5.00

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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