Having been filmed in 2018 and then sat on a shelf for two years waiting
for a distributor Burden, given its themes of racial tension and bigotry,
couldn’t have found a better time to be released.
From Oscar nominated filmmaker Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club) Burden
is the true story of South Carolina Klansman Mike Burden.
Set in the late 90’s Garrett Hedlund plays Mike Burden a young man who has
been brought up in the ways of the Ku Klux Klan by its leader Tom Griffen
(Tom Wilkinson). Treated like a son by Griffin he helps him open a Redneck
KKK Museum in an old theatre. The opening causes simmering racial tensions
within the town to boil over and some search justice by violence whilst the
town’s preacher Reverend Kennedy (Forest Whitaker) tries to calm things
down by preaching compassion.
As all this is going on Burden meets and falls in love with a single mother
called Judy (Andrea Riseborough). Judy is the polar opposite of Burden,
she’s tolerant, has black friends and is against any form of racism. As
their relationship grows Burden eventually finds that he has to choose
between the woman he loves and the KKK.
Hedlund, with his sometimes hard to make out southern drawl, is
particularly good as is Riseborough. Burden is a moving account of how
racism effects small town America and is certainly now more than ever
worthy of a watch.