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With: Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, Gaye Shannon-Burnett, Ronnie Bell, Dennis Kemper, Sally Easter, Angela Burnett, Monte Easter, Frances E. Nealy, Sy Richardson
Written by: Charles Burnett
Directed by: Charles Burnett
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 81
Date: 09/13/1983

My Brother's Wedding (1983)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Vow and Scrape

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Charles Burnett's follow-up to his great Killer of Sheep was squashed before it had a chance to see the light of day. An unfinished print was shown at a film festival and then, after receiving a negative review in the New York Times, it was shelved. In 2007, on the Milestone DVD release of Killer of Sheep, Burnett was finally able to complete his director's cut of My Brother's Wedding. It's a great film, funny and touching and powerful, about a man, Pierce Mundy (Everett Silas), who works with his parents in their dry-cleaning shop. His successful brother Wendell (Monte Easter) is marrying a wealthy woman, Sonia (Gaye Shannon-Burnett), whom Pierce hates; he sees her as constantly boasting of her privilege. Meanwhile, he tries to help his troubled friend Soldier (Ronnie Bell). The major conflict comes when a funeral is scheduled on the same day as the wedding. Burnett's handling of the material is gentle and humane, finding odd, funny, and sad rhythms of life in the material. Sy Richardson, who plays Sonia's father, went on to appear in many films, including Repo Man.

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