Posted in The Reel World by John Delia on March 26th, 2020
Based on a true story, Burden shows how one town’s African-Americans fight back against racial prejudices brought on by the local Ku Klux Klan. The film is well written by Andrew Heckler and has a fine cast that makes their characters believable. Largely unknown, the historical incident was brought to light by New York Times writer Rick Bragg on November 17, 1996. The heart-wrenching story shows how one town fought back to free itself from a racist act. Tom Griffin (Tom Wilkinson) and his ward Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund) decide to reopen the abandoned movie theater as a museum for the KKK in the center of their small town of Laurens, South Carolina in spring of 1996. It’s an act of pride for the hooded organization and yet an obvious planned affront to half the population of the county. But Griffin owns the property, and his long-time membership in the KKK has brought him to the racist decision. The local preacher Reverend Kennedy (Forest Whitaker) is up in arms over the audacity of Griffin’s venture and starts to gather his flock to protest the museum.