5.3/10
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53 user 17 critic

White Man's Burden (1995)

In an alternative America where African-Americans and White Americans have reversed cultural roles, a white factory worker kidnaps a black factory owner for dismissing him over perceived disdain.

Director:

Desmond Nakano

Writer:

Desmond Nakano
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Louis Pinnock
Harry Belafonte ... Thaddeus Thomas
Kelly Lynch ... Marsha Pinnock
Margaret Avery ... Megan Thomas
Tom Bower ... Stanley
Andrew Lawrence ... Donnie Pinnock
Bumper Robinson ... Martin
Tom Wright ... Lionel
Sheryl Lee Ralph ... Roberta
Judith Drake ... Dorothy
Robert Gossett ... John
Wesley Thompson ... Williams
Tom Nolan ... Johansson
Willie C. Carpenter ... Marcus
Michael Beach ... Policeman #1 Outside Bar
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Storyline

The story takes place in alternative America where the blacks are members of social elite, and whites are inhabitants of inner city ghettos. Louis Pinnock is a struggling white worker in a chocolate factory, loving husband and father of two children. While delivering a package for black CEO Thaddeus Thomas, he is mistaken for a voyeur and, as a result, loses his job, gets beaten by black cops and his family gets evicted from their home. Desperate, Pinnock takes a deadly weapon and kidnaps Thomas, demanding justice, but the fight he will have to finish will cost him more than his job was ever worth. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of right and wrong, justice is seldom black or white. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Travolta took the role of Louis Pinnock at Quentin Tarantino's urging. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

[Last lines. Mrs. Pinnock has just refused to accept from Mr. Thomas the money he owed her husband]
Thaddeus Thomas: Why don't you keep it? I can give you some more if you think... if you think it's not enough.
Marsha Pinnock: How much is enough, Mr. Thomas? How much will ever be enough?
[turns, shuts the door and walks away]
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Connections

Referenced in Rederiet: Dolda planer (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

All Fucked Up
Written by Mike Scaccia and Casey Orr
Performed by Blohole
Courtesy of Triple X Records
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User Reviews

 
Role Reversal . What Role Reversal ?
27 February 2008 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Alternative history is certainly one of the more compelling aspects of speculative fiction . Anyone who has seen the DOCTOR WHO story Inferno would be hard pressed to forget it , Robert Harris's Fatherland is a unforgettable novel and whilst I have no wish to read any of his books Harry Turtledove is a very popular author . In short premises featuring alternative planet Earths' and their different histories are thought provoking to say the least and when it was announced that John Travolta ( Let's not forget how massive a star he was then after PULP FICTION ) was going to be starring in an alternative future film where the roles of black and white are reversed the studio execs would have quite rightly tapped themselves on their shoulders knowing they were making a massive hit

Strangely I'd forgotten all about this movie until it was broadcast on BBC1 a couple of nights ago and it's not difficult to understand why it's an obscure flop . The film starts with a black family gathered at the dinner table where patriarch and businessman Thaddues Thomas states his dislike for white people and their problems . Cut to Louis Pinnock who who works for Thomas company and lives in a rough area where his neighbours all seem to be pecker woods . Later due to a series of contrived , not very well written circumstances Pinnock loses his job with the company and decides to kidnap Thomas

The problem with WHITE MANS BURDEN is that this is an alternative world where Black Americans are at the apex of social hierarchy while whites are at the bottom bu this scenario is never ever explored . In fact the only things were shown that things are so mightily different is when someone is flipping the TV channel that show amongst other things a western where all the calvarymen are black . I know this was made in 1995 but is director Desmond Nakano saying there's no white equivalent of Morgan Freeman , Condaleeza Rice or Colin Powell ? For goodness sake we're even shown a black golfer on TV . Is this version of America without a white golfing prodigy called Alpine Woods ?

So that's the main problem and an unforgivable one where we're told that everything is different but as the plot rolls along we find ourselves asking what is actually different ? The audience are shown a couple of black cops being confronted by an angry white mob ( This doesn't happen in " our " America ? ) , a white man with a black companion are threatened by pecker woods ( This doesn't happen in " our " America ? ) etc , etc . At no point is the premise used to explore how anything would be different in " our " America . If you made a film set in " our " America where a disgruntled white employee kidnaps his racist black boss then you would not have to alter one single word never a single scene from this screenplay . And disgruntled employees kidnapping nasty employer type redemption plots we never all that compelling in the first place


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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

White Man's Burden See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,743,251, 3 December 1995

Gross USA:

$3,734,870

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,734,870
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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