Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Burden - Movie Review

The Movie: Burden

The Director: Andrew Heckler

The Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Andrea Riseborough, Forest Whitaker, Crystal Fox, Tom Wilkinson, Tess Harper, Usher Raymond, Austin Hébert, Dexter Darden

The Story: 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.

The Review:
Racism is bad. It always has been. Burden is the story of one man being forced to choose between what he has known and what he is learning to know is right. Director Andrew Heckler takes a hard look at this topic and treats it with the respect it deserves. When you realize this is a true story you'll be like what in the flying flags of the confederacy Batman, how can this amount of blatant racism have been a real thing. Well, that's where Heckler really digs in to show us how normalized racism is and to the point where it is viewed as righteousness in some twisted religious narrative that breeds from indoctrination and ignorance.

The story is equal parts disturbing, shocking, inspiring, and uplifting with strong performances from top to bottom. I have been a fan of Garrett Hedlund probably since seeing him in Tron: Legacy and I've always wondered why he continues to fly under the radar. His work i this movie is some of his best and the character he plays goes through the most of anyone in the film. I don't really want to elaborate on that as his journey ultimately becomes critical to the third act of the story and best to see it play out on your own.

Forest Whitaker is always great and he is nothing less than that in this movie and especially when he goes face to face with Tom Wilkinson's grand wizard character who he has you hate not because he is a stereotypical clan villain but because you kind of understand where he's coming from. The way he blatantly despises people of color is so ingrained in who he is, you can't imagine how he could ever be redeemed or that he would ever even entertain the thought. There is a level of generational hatred that is the foundation for why someone in his position is so frightening.

Burden is a somber tale of the eternal struggle against blind hatred and how one man can rise above what he has always known to be true thanks to the unflinching efforts of those who love him and are willing to give him a chance.

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