What is America to me?


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Essay #: 063001
Total text length is 10,978 characters (approximately 7.6 pages).

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The beginning:
What is America to me?
In the 1977 film Killer of Sheep, filmmaker Charles Burnett speaks poignantly about the conditions of Black urban life in America during the 1970s. And as Burnett impresses upon the audience, life for Black urban dwellers in the 1970s would seem to have lacked rhyme and reason, just as much as the film lacks a cohesive plot. But that is just the point that the filmmaker is driving home in this film. For Blacks in the urban setting during the 1970s, America was an entirely different country than it was for Whites living in the suburban sprawl. And that is why Burnett presents palpable scenes of abject poverty against the backdrop of the song What is America to Me?
A Life of Meaningless Sacrifice
If any element of the...
The end:
.....ut a sense of purpose or meaning (Burnett). And that is America to me says the Black urban dweller of the 1970s.
Is it any wonder that the 1977 film Killer of Sheep by filmmaker Charles Burnett continues to resonate with so many people today? It can be said that the film provides a window into history and what America was to Blacks in the urban setting during the 1970s. And what the film really says is that America was two different worlds for Whites and Black urban dwellers in the 1970s – land of the free and land of the subjugated and oppressed.
Brill, Lesley. Crowds, power, and transformation in cinema.
Wayne State University Press, 2006
Burnett, Charles. Killer of the Sheep. UCLA Film and Television
Archive, 1977.