The movie Burden tells the incredible true story of Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund) who opened the world famous Redneck Shop and KKK Museum on the historic town square of Laurens South Carolina in 1996, then was subsequently wrenched out of the clutches of this hate family through the love of a single mother (Andrea Riseborough) and the faith of a African American, Baptist Minister (Forest Whitaker). Mike Burden was raised and indoctrinated into the KKK by Klan leader Tom Griffin (Tom Wilkinson), rising to the ranks of Grand Dragon through his affinity for violence and seemingly set on a lifetime path steeped in racism and bigotry, until he meets and falls in love with a single mother, deeply opposed to the hate group, eventually forcing him to make a choice. After being cut off and shut out of his Klan family, with nowhere else to turn, Mike begs for help from his mortal enemy, civil rights activist Reverend David Kennedy. Against all odds and wisdom, Reverend Kennedy proves the power and conviction of his faith when he accepts Mike’s disavowal of the Klan and welcomes him into his home and his church. Together, they face down irate, vengeful and violent Klan members and win over Reverend Kennedy’s skeptical parishioners, forming a true bond and forging a path towards redemption and forgiveness.
The film has been edited down 20 minutes from its premiere at Sundance in 2018. The film is the winner of the 2018 Audience Awards at Sundance and Nantucket Film Festivals, and was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Andrew Heckler.