From the moment I screened this film, I can’t seem to forget the images, the performances or the story that took more than 20 years to make it to the silver screen thanks to it Director/Writer Andrew Heckler. Based on the true story of Mike Burden, during the late 90’s in Laurens, South Carolina, Burden is a proud Klansman who opens The Redneck KKK Museum, complete with hoods and KKK memorabilia, in the middle of town. It’s only after he falls in love does he find himself with a heart wrenching choice – Love of The Klan.
The unsteady camera movements captured the nervous energy of this story from beginning to end and the parallels of combatting love as a weapon to fight the fear and ignorance of racism is not lost on me as audience member. As I watched a scene in which a young black girl walked home from work only to be spat upon by a truck full of klan members left me wondering why do I live in a country so full of hate simply based on the color of one’s skin.
Andrew Heckler, during a Q&A, reminded us that Burden “is not about self-hatred and not a real film…the more we can feel better about us…the more we can make others feel better. We cannot turn an enemy into an enemy with hatred…only through love.”
Well, Mr. Heckler, I absolutely love what you did with Burden and we are lucky you were persistent in bring this film to the big screen.
Garrett Hedlund, Crystal Fox, Forrest Whittaker, Tom Wilkinson, Andreas Riseborough, Usher Raymond and Tess Harper collectively make this story as riveting as it must’ve been in real life. Each actor bringing their A-game to their characters was an absolute delight to observe.
Burden is now in a bidding war for distribution and had just an overwhelming response at Sundance that it won the Audience Award. Stay tuned to The Curvy Critic for more news on this one…