September 26th, 2021

New film a timely story

By Submitted Article on June 25, 2020.

There has been a shortage of newer films to watch over the past few months. I heard about, and got the opportunity, to pre-screen a powerful and timely true story that arrives at our theatre this weekend. Yes – a NEW movie!

“Burden,” starring Forrest Whitaker, tells the story about a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opening in a South Carolina town, and the idealistic Reverend Kennedy striving to keep the peace even as he urges the group’s Grand Dragon to disavow his racist past. This show is 117 minutes in length and is rated 14A with a language warning. It will show Friday, Saturday and Tuesday at noon and 6 p.m. The remaining days of the week it will be available at 1:15 and 7 p.m.

“When 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.” – Mongrel Films.

This film certainly draws attention to the issue of race and discrimination, but highlights the good in people on both sides of the divide. It showcases that much of the behaviour is learned in the home and from the environment – and ultimately gives us a few people to cheer for and be satisfied with the resolution. The journey that Mike takes as he learns to love and embrace a new life, with new ideals, is filled with challenges, as his former “friends” from the KKK turn on him in the blink of an eye. His journey is not an easy one, as old habits die hard – but the conclusion I found satisfying, and I can only hope that more people can learn to overcome their feelings and actions that are the source of so much pain and misery in our world.

We are anxiously ready to welcome you back into our safe environment at the theatre to experience a few hours of entertainment and escape – I think most of us have earned that privilege!

See you at the movie theatre!

Leonard Binning operates the Movie Mill and is a past president of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Alberta. His column appears Thursdays.

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