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Charles Burnett – A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge - California Scholarship Online
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Charles Burnett: A Cinema of Symbolic Knowledge

James Naremore


In this, the first book devoted to one of the world’s most admired independent filmmakers, James Naremore offers a close critical study of all of Charles Burnett’s important works for movies and television—among them Killer of Sheep, My Brother’s Wedding, To Sleep with Anger, The Glass Shield, Nightjohn, The Wedding, Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, and Warming by the Devil’s Fire. Naremore shows that Burnett’s important career has developed against the odds and that his artistry, social criticism, humor, and commitment to “symbolic knowledge” have given his films enduring value.

Keywords: black American cinema, independent cinema, social criticism, film style, historical films, film as education, humor, adaptations, television films

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780520285521
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520285521.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Naremore, author
Indiana University