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Charles Burnett—Consummate Cinéaste: “We, who grew up in the Civil Rights Movement, felt responsible to make our race proud.”


This interview occurred during the New Orléans Afrikan Film and Arts Festival (NOAFEST) events dedicated to Charles Burnett and his producer Ed Santiago, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 7–8, 2008. It is comprised of two parts derived from two conversations with Charles Burnett. In Part 1, Burnett engages in conversation on stage followed by the screening of To Sleep with Anger (1990) at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center. In Part 2, Burnett discusses his film practice, aesthetic and social concerns, the UCLA film school experience, and the obstacles to working in Hollywood and mainstream media. The interview concludes with a lengthy conversation about the similarities and distinctiveness of Killer of Sheep (1977) and Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation (2007), which premiered at NOAFEST, along with his six-minute documentary on Hurricane Katrina, Quiet as Kept (2007). The interview was conducted by Michael T. Martin with the participation of Eileen Julien, NOAFEST Co-President.

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