How did the storyline for Killer of Sheep develop?
CB: I had been working with other filmmakers who were doing stories about working-class people and they were, I thought, sort of romanticizing it. These films were about working-class people but made by students who were far removed from that environment. I wanted to tell a story about a man who was trying to hold on to some values that were constantly being eroded by other forces, by his plight in the community, and the quality of the job that he had. At the same time he wanted to do right by his family. I didn’t want to impose my values on his situation. I just wanted to show his life. And I didn’t want to resolve his situation by imposing artificial solutions like him becoming a doctor or a diplomat, when the reality is that most people don’t get out. I wanted to show that there is a positive element to his life, and that is that he endures, he’s accepted it. The film unfolds in a loose, leisurely, seemingly improvised (but actually tightly scripted and storyboarded) flow of events.