Bless Their Little Hearts / The Pocketbook
Bless Their Little Hearts
Dir. Billy Woodberry. 1984. 84 mins. With Nate Hardman, Kaycee Moore. Bless Their Little Hearts represents the pinnacle of a neorealist strand within the L.A. Rebellion, which began with Charles Burnett’s Several Friends (1969). Woodberry’s film chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Burnett’s Killer of Sheep (1977). Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control. If salvation remains, it’s in the sensitive depiction of everyday life, which persists throughout.
Dir. Billy Woodberry. 1980. 13 mins. With Ella “Simi” Nelson, Ray Cherry. In the course of a botched purse-snatching, a boy questions the path of his life. Woodberry’s second film adapts Langston Hughes’ short story, “Thank You, Ma’am,” and features music by Leadbelly, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis.
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