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Bill Duke’s
THE KILLING FLOOR

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Director Bill Duke
Cast Damien Leake, Alfre Woodard, Clarence Felder, Moses Gunn, Dennis Farina
Screenplay Leslie Lee
Story Elsa Rassbach
Cinematography William Birch
Editor John Carter
Music Elizabeth Swados
Executive Producer Elsa Rassbach
1985 | United States | Approx. 118 min. | English

(1985) In his first feature, director Bill Duke (The Rage in Harlem, Deep Cover) traces the racial and class conflicts seething in the Chicago’s giant slaughterhouses, and the brutal efforts of management to divide the workforce along ethnic lines, which eventually boiled over in the Chicago Race Riot of 1919. Winner of the Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival, 1985. Starring Damien Leake (Serpico, Apocalypse Now), Alfre Woodard (Crooklyn, Down in the Delta). Screenplay by African American playwright Leslie Lee.

New 4K restoration. Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive, laboratory services and DCP by UCLA Film & Television Archive Digital Media Lab. Special thanks to Elsa Rassbach, Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive.

A FILM MOVEMENT CLASSICS RELEASE

Reviews

“What makes The Killing Floor so moving and absorbing is the way it succeeds in giving human scale and human impact to a moment in America's industrial history. What makes it memorable is its evocative re-creation of Chicago and the social milieu that existed there at the time of World War I. From the polemic tensions of the union meetings to Custer's visits to 'Miss Dean's Social Shop' – to dictate, at 50 cents apiece, his letters home - the film breathes the color and life of the period.”
– John V. Hurst, The Sacramento Bee

The Killing Floor is part of our nation's history – a fascinating and bloody episode in the history of the U.S. labor movement... a powerful, personal drama...”
– Marilyn Preston, Chicago Tribune

“A revelatory historical drama that offers a powerful template for social analysis in fiction.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

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