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Charles BurnettA Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge$
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James Naremore

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285521

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285521.001.0001

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To Sleep with Anger (1990)

To Sleep with Anger (1990)

(p.66) Five To Sleep with Anger (1990)
Charles Burnett

James Naremore

University of California Press

This chapter discusses one of Burnett’s major achievements and the first of his films to be made under relatively normal Hollywood production circumstances. To Sleep with Anger tells the story of generational and class conflict within a black family in Los Angeles. Retired worker Gabriel and his wife, Susie, are visited by Harry, an old friend from the south, who becomes a houseguest. Soon after Harry’s arrival, strange things begin to happen. Gabriel falls ill, and his youngest son falls under Harry’s bad influence.

Keywords:   black social and generational conflict, country versus city, black folklore, the Hairy Man, superstition, religion, sibling rivalry, magic realism, humor, comedy, acting, music

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