White Man's Burden
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -3

WHITE MAN'S BURDEN addresses the subject of race in a unique way. It shows what the life of an ordinary white man would be like in a world where the racial roles are reversed a world where the upper class neighborhoods are completely black, servants are white and the ghettos occupied by whites. Louis Pinnock (John Travolta) plays a white factory worker trying to build a decent life for himself and his family. He is a dedicated employee hoping for a much needed promotion. Life is bearable until his world collides with that of Thadeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte), a black businessman with a flair for fine living. Their paths cross in a terribly unfortunate incident, which leaves Pinnock devoid of family and home. In frustration and desperation, Pinnock kidnaps Thomas, who is responsible for the laborer's job loss. The two diverse men share an experience in the ghetto that will forever change their lives. The film's overall tone is more depressing than entertaining, and will probably move quickly to video.

WHITE MAN'S BURDEN is chocked full of more than 120 obscenities, crudities and profanities. And while it addresses racial discrimination, it does so in a satirical, exaggerated way that may disturb some viewers. For example, the film focuses on Pinnock as he self-destructs in a world that is completely cold to whites, implying falsely that in real life society is completely cold to blacks. In addition to the never-ending foul language, there is graphic violence. In one scene, a skinhead is blown away by a shotgun blast to his chest; another time Pinnock is gunned down by policemen who are portrayed as cold-blooded racist killers. They also beat Pinnock with a billy club, leaving him bleeding in the street. Although WHITE MAN'S BURDEN drives home a point on racism, its strongly biased overtones may stir up more animosity than understanding. That, plus graphic violence and disgusting language make this a film to avoid.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Distributor: Savoy Pictures Entertainment, 152 W. 57th St., 38th Flr, NY, NY 10019

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 4, Moderate 6
Obscene Language: Many (95) times (f-word 59, s-word 34, other 2)
Profanity: Many (17) times - Regular 15 (G-d, J-C), Exclamatory 2
Violence: Several times - Moderate and Severe (man beaten with billy club, graphic shootings, hit in face with trophy, property damage)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None but Near Nudity few times (woman in low-cut dress)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Few times (drinking wine and beer)
Other: None
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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