Writer: Andrew Heckler (Screenplay)
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Tom Wilkinson, Tess Harper, Crystal Fox, Usher Raymond
Plot: When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy strives to keep the peace even as he urges the group’s Grand Dragon to disavow his racist past.
Tagline – Only love can drive out hate.
Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Important Message
Story: Burden starts as we head to a small South Carolina town, a place where the Ku Klux Klan has been operating with Tom Griffin (Wilkinson) being the leader of the Klan, the town does have a black Reverend Kennedy (Whitaker) who has been trying to bring change to the mindset of the locals to be equal to everyone, only for his plans to become shattered when Tom opens a museum for the Klan.
When one of the klan members Mike Burden (Hedlund) starts dating local woman Judy (Riseborough), he finds him allegiance to the klan being questioned, with the tension between both sides rising in the town.
Thoughts on Burden
Characters – Mike Burden is a member of the KKK, he is involved in opening the museum, which does build up the tension between the groups in the town, he starts to date a local woman, which sees him needing to refocus and see the mistakes in his past, turning to a black reverend for help to live a better life, even though the KKK start to turn on him. Jude is the local mother that works in the local store to make sure her child gets food, she doesn’t get involved in the problems in the town, she will always treat everyone equal, which sees her wonder if Mike can change. Reverend Kennedy is the black man that is trying to bring equality to the town, he has been against the KKK actions for years and is left needing to overcome a new problem, while being willing to offer former members a chance to redeem themselves. Tom Griffin is the leader of the KKK chapter in the town, he lets and encourages the members to target black people for violence, looking to start up his own war in the town
Performances – We do have a strong cast with Forest Whitaker being the star of the cast, he brings us the character with the biggest struggle to go through, while Garrett Hedlund brings to life the redemption arc character. Andrea Riseborough does well in the supporting role, while Tom Wilkinson makes us hate his character with ease.
Story – The story here follows a member of the KKK that learns the errors of his way and looks to correct his mistakes, even if it means he is left with nothing, with the only person that will help him, being a black reverend that he was once assigned to murder. This is based on the real person that went for a redemption, which is all fair enough to see somebody better themselves, only we don’t get into enough of the war between the two sides in the town, it almost seems like the more important part of the story only it ends up being on the backburner through the film. We do have the world created well, showing how everyone involved is struggling with everyday life and needs help, which is why they have created the groups we see both sides involved in.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show us that both sides are struggling to make ends meet, they are all on the poverty line.
Scene of the Movie – The redemption.
Final Thoughts – This is a strong redemption storyline, only it fails to show the true battle between the KKK and the black members of the town who are always being the victims of their actions.
Overall: Redemption 101.
Signature Entertainment presents Burden on DVD & Digital HD from July 6th