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The Voice and Vision of Billy Woodberry: Bless Their Little Hearts 

A pivotal work of the filmmaking school known as the LA Rebellion, Bless Their Little Hearts—directed and produced by Woodberry, scripted and shot by Charles Burnett—is arguably the finest example of the neorealist aesthetic in American cinema. The story of working-class Charlie Banks (Nate Hardman) and his family in South Los Angeles, trying to cope with underemployment, spiritual collapse, and conditions beyond their control, is bolstered by brilliantly gut-wrenching performances from Hardman and Kaycee Moore as his wife. At its  center is a painful confrontation between the couple, shot in one continuous 10-minute take, that ranks as “one of the great domestic cataclysms of modern movies” (critic Richard Brody).  Nominated in 2013 to the National Film Registry, the film was preserved and restored with assistance from Woodberry at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and released by Milestone. (1984, 86 minutes)    

02/17/2021