BURDEN is the story of a young man who’s a member of the Ku Klux Klan in Laurens, South Carolina. Set in 1996, the movie follows Mike Burden as he struggles with whether to leave the Klan for the woman he loves or stay with the local Klan leader, the father he never had. However, when Mike falls in love with Judy, a single mother who disagrees with the Klan, he decides to leave the KKK, but loses everything. A local African American pastor sees this sacrifice and takes Mike and his new family in under his roof, although it puts his family at risk.
BURDEN is a powerful redemption story. It holds the viewer’s attention from beginning to end. Also, the acting is top notch. BURDEN has a very strong Christian, moral worldview. It stresses forgiveness, redemption, family, friendship, and the power of Jesus. It also shows how staying faithful to God and His plan will bring people more than they ever expected. However, along with all its redeeming qualities, BURDEN has lots of strong foul language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(CCC, BBB, Ab, LLL, VV, N, AA, D, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview about a racist coming to Christ with a church service and Christian hymns sung throughout, positive references to Jesus and God throughout by the Reverend, references to Scripture and doing what God is asking even when you don’t want to, pastor preaches to love sinful people and not hate them, baptism depicted, several instances where prayer is discussed to fight a bad situation, a character is shown reading the Bible, and a woman wears a cross necklace throughout the movie, and the bad guys are KKK members so scenes include racist KKK members holding a meeting wearing the traditional outfits and burning three crosses, and KKK members make references to being the “chosen people of God” and claim that God is on their side
About 72 obscenities (38 “f” words), four 4 GDs, one JC, about 16 “n” words, man urinates on woman walking in the street, middle finger shown, racial slurs throughout
Strong and light violence includes KKK members seen burning crosses, reference to a man being hanged, KKK members harass black teenagers and throw beer at them, KKK member beats up a black teenager, KKK leader teaching children how to stab black people, KKK leader asks member to kill reverend, black teenagers fight with KKK members, man hits another man for making sexual reference to his girlfriend, KKK members beat up two men and pour gasoline on one attempting to set him on fire, guns and knives are shown, old torture tool from KKK is shown
Dating couple kisses seven times, a make-out scene is shown from far away, and a dating couple move in together before marriage
Three instances of upper male nudity (one was two young boys swimming), one instance of a woman in a bra, woman’s midriff is shown throughout, and woman shown in her underwear
Seven instances of drinking, one of them involves a man who was drunk, but a woman rebukes him for it, and a child is jokingly offered a beer
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking but no drugs; and,
A dysfunctional dating relationship shown, racism throughout from KKK members, man is punished by the KKK because he leaves the group.
BURDEN is based off a true story of a young man who is a member of the Ku Klux Klan in Laurens, South Carolina. Set in 1996, the movie follows Mike Burden as he struggles with whether to leave the Klan for the woman he loves or to stay to keep the father he never had. BURDEN is a powerful redemption story, but sadly is marred with lots of strong foul language. For this reason, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
In the small town of Laurens, South Carolina, the Ku Klux Klan is still alive and active. The movie opens with the leader of the Klan, Tom Griffin, as he and other members of the Klan start demolition on an old theater that used to be known for its segregation of African Americans. The townspeople are excited thinking they’re going to be getting a new theater, but shortly find out the group has other plans for it.
Mike Burden, Griffin’s right hand, is the man being groomed to lead the local Klan outfit one day. Burden is like Griffin’s adopted son. Griffin even signs the deed to the old theater over to him so when Griffin dies it will stay with the Klan. What Griffin doesn’t know is Burden isn’t completely sold with the ways of the Klan, and the audience finds that out as Burden works his day job at Rent-2-Own.
When out on the job picking up items that haven’t been paid for, he runs into an old friend he used to go to high school with, Clarence Brooks. Brooks is African American, but interacts with Burden like there’s no bad blood between them. When Burden’s partner tries to give Brooks a hard time, Burden tells him to leave so he can take care of it without problems.
Burden and his partner then make one other stop for the day. This time it’s at the house of a woman named Judy. Judy has a son and is living with the boy’s father, but doesn’t love him. Burden is sweet on Judy from the time he sees her and helps her out with her past due bill on her equipment. The two hit it off and eventually start seeing one another.
Meanwhile, Griffin unveils the new theater’s name and what it will be used for by him and the Klan. “The Redneck KKK Museum” has been put on the theater’s marquee. This immediately grabs the attention of the Reverend Kennedy, the African American pastor at the local Baptist church. He encourages his congregation to protest peacefully and to pray to the Lord that this business will be shut down. As the movie progressesn, he tries to do everything in his power to keep the racial tensions from escalating.
As things start to get more serious between Burden and Judy, Judy makes it known to him that she isn’t racist and doesn’t support the actions of the Klan. Burden decides to leave the Klan for his new family but loses everything in the process. The Reverend Kennedy sees this and takes Burden and his family in under his own roof, even though it puts his own family at risk.
BURDEN is an extremely powerful movie that shows the struggle of a sinful man who’s put in a position to re-examine his belief system. It also shows a man who is firm in his belief system and still struggles with how to act in a tough situation. The acting in BURDEN is top notch with not one character missing a beat. The story is exceptionally well told and maintains the viewer’s attention from beginning to end.
BURDEN has a very strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview. It highlights forgiveness, redemption, family, friendship, and the power of Jesus. The story shows how one person’s life can be completely changed when they introduce God into their life. It also shows how staying faithful to God and His plan will bring people so much more than they ever expected. The Reverend makes positive references throughout the movie. Also, a baptism is depicted as well as a church service where Christian hymns are sung. However, along with all the movie’s redeeming qualities, there is an excessive amount of strong foul language. For this reason, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for BURDEN.
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