Forest Whitaker and Garrett Hedlund star in this powerful true story of love overcoming hate. Set in a town scarred by racism, an unlikely friendship forms when an African American reverend helps a KKK member leave the Klan.The new film Burden will be in select theaters on Feb 28.
Starring Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough with Usher Raymond IV and Tom Wilkinson, Burden was written and directed by Andrew Heckler and it is produced by Robbie Brenner.
The story revolves around a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a small South Carolina town. The idealistic Reverend Kennedy (Academy Award®-winner Forest Whitaker) resolves to do everything in his power to prevent long-simmering racial tensions from boiling over. But the members of Kennedy's congregation are shocked to discover that his plan includes sheltering Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund), a Klansman whose relationships with both a single-mother (Andrea Riseborough) and a high-school friend (Usher Raymond) force him to re-examine his long-held beliefs.
After Kennedy helps Mike leave behind his violent past, the Baptist preacher finds himself on a collision course with manipulative KKK leader Tom Griffin (Tom Wilkinson). In the face of grave threats to himself and his family, the resolute Kennedy bravely pursues a path toward peace, setting aside his own misgivings in the hopes of healing his wounded community. From Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club) and writer/director Andrew Heckler comes this dramatic true story of compassion and grace in the American South.
Film director Andrew Heckler tells Christian Post: "I spent a day in the Redneck Shop and the KKK Museum and got to know some of the Klansmen. I told them I was a white supremacist from Chicago. They were very welcoming; almost like a college trying to recruit an athlete."
"As much as I vehemently disagree with their rhetoric, I was able to see them and hear who they were without having to cover anything," Heckler said. "I was able to get perspective. As unpopular as this might sound, when you take off the hood of a Klansman, there's a person who wasn't born a Klansman. They were people who were taught this. They were hijacked."
"We hijack the most vulnerable," he asserted. "Those who are economically and socially vulnerable are hijacked by these families built on hatred. Any family is better than no family. They don't realize it's not truly a family because families are built on love."