When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy strives to keep the peace even as he urges the group's Grand Dragon to disavow his racist past.


Andrew Heckler


Andrew Heckler
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Garrett Hedlund ... Mike Burden
Andrea Riseborough ... Judy
Forest Whitaker ... Reverend Kennedy
Tom Wilkinson ... Tom Griffin
Usher ... Clarence Brooks (as Usher Raymond IV)
Crystal Fox ... Janice Kennedy
Austin Hébert ... Clint (as Austin Hebert)
Dexter Darden ... Kelvin Kennedy
Taylor Gregory ... Franklin
Tia Hendricks ... Toosie Brooks
Devin Bright ... Duane Brooks
Joshua Burge ... Ronny
Tess Harper ... Hazel Griffin
Anna Colwell ... Molly
Bryan Hibbard ... Gus


When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a small South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy resolves to do everything in his power to prevent racial tensions from boiling over. But the members of Kennedy's congregation are shocked to discover that his plan includes sheltering Mike Burden, a Klansman whose relationships with both a single-mother and a high-school friend 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. 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A young man's love affair puts him in deadly peril with the Southern community that raised him. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, and language throughout including racial epithets | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


After producer Robbie Brenner got nominated for an Academy Award for "Dallas Buyers Club," she texted director Andrew Heckler the same morning and said "You're next." See more »


Mike Burden: [to Reverend Kennedy] Sir, if I call you my enemy, I'll walk through Heaven and I will punch God just to get to you. If I call you my friend, I'll walk through Hell and I'll slap the devil for you.
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Be My Cowboy Tonight
Written by Donna Wood
Performed by Susan Doll
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User Reviews

Very entertaining and worth watching - especially for people of faith.
27 February 2020 | by rbsteurySee all my reviews

I saw this film at the 1918 Traverse City Film Festival. I am so glad it is finally being released, even if not very widely. "Burden" was moving and suspenseful - all the more because the events depicted are pretty close to the actual events. And it had people of color taking charge of the situation and displaying the courageous love of Christ - no rescue by a white liberal from the North.

Whitaker was remarkable, as was Garrett Hedlund as Burden, Andrea Riseborough as his partner and Tom Wilkinson (always wonderful) as the hate-filled leader of the local Klan. Hopefully it will be released on streaming so many people can see it as it appears it will have a limited release in theaters. It is also a shame it is rated "R" for language and some violence, as it is a film all young people would benefit from seeing.

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Release Date:

9 June 2020 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Burden See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,160, 1 March 2020

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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