White Man's Burden

"Excellent"

White Man's Burden Review


What would happen if race roles in America were reversed? What if blacks had all the power, and whites had to fight prejudice and racism at every turn? Such is the setting of writer/director Desmond Nakano's brilliant new film, White Man's Burden.

The movie is a tightly constructed drama about Louis Pinnock (John Travolta), a reliable blue collar man who works in a factory owned by high-society elitist Thaddeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte). At home, Louis has to deal with a rough neighborhood, gang violence, and trying to provide for his wife (Kelly Lynch) and two kids.

Just when things are looking up for the Pinnocks, Louis is suddenly fired from his job, beaten by police after "fitting the description," and then evicted from his home. Desperate, he tries to get Thaddeus to hear his case for reinstatement. When he won't listen, Louis kidnaps him, and the story really starts to take off.

What follows is a compelling, thought-provoking study of racism and the frightening economic and societal realities it can create. Nakano's script is masterful at challenging every preconceived notion we have, and Oscar-deserving performances by Travolta and Belafonte really bring his words to life. The pair have an incredible chemistry on screen, as Travolta finally shakes his slick, pompous stereotyping for a much meatier part. The comic relief is very well-done, also, and the film never wallows into the hopeless despair that other "victim of circumstance" stories tend to do.

I was initially skeptical that White Man's Burden would be any good, but Nakano's unique vision proved me very wrong. While he stops a little short on pushing the film to its limit, it's still a nearly flawless example of how modern cinema ought to be done, unadulterated by Hollywood glitz and driving its message home with a hammer.

I continue to think about one of Thaddeus's biting remarks early in the film, where he implies that whites are genetically inferior and "beyond being helped." I also think about the four rowdy skinhead punks (who somehow managed to get passes) sitting behind me, ashamed that the message was lost on these cretins.



White Man's Burden

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st December 1995

Budget: $8M

Distributed by: HBO Video

Production compaines: A BandApart, HBO, Rysher Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Louis Pinnock, as Thaddeus Thomas, as Marsha Pinnock, as Megan Thomas, as Stanley

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.