White Man's Burden (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
White Man's Burden
White Mans Burden.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Desmond Nakano
Produced by Lawrence Bender
Written by Desmond Nakano
Starring John Travolta
Harry Belafonte
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Willy Kurant
Edited by Nancy Richardson
Distributed by Savoy Pictures
Release dates
  • December 1, 1995 (1995-12-01) (U.S.)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million
Box office $3,760,525 (USA)
For the poem by Rudyard Kipling, see The White Man's Burden.
For the book by William Easterly, see William Easterly.

White Man's Burden is a 1995 American drama film about racism in an alternative America where black and white Americans have reversed cultural roles.[1] The film was written and directed by Desmond Nakano.

The film revolves around Louis Pinnock, a white factory worker (John Travolta), who kidnaps Thaddeus Thomas, a black factory owner (Harry Belafonte) who fired him over a perceived slight.[2]


Louis Pinnock (John Travolta) is a struggling urban factory worker. In this alternative reality, it is a large underclass of European Americans who live in rundown, crime-infested ghettos and face prejudice from the broader society, while the comfortable middle and upper class is predominantly African American.

In an effort to go above and beyond in his position (hoping to become a foreman soon), in the candy factory in which he works, Pinnock delivers a package for his boss to successful CEO Thaddeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte). After Pinnock accidentally sees Thomas's wife coming out of the shower, he is subsequently dismissed from his job, assaulted by the police and forced to watch his family evicted. In a radical quest for justice, Pinnock kidnaps Thomas, which forces the two men to bond, as well as argue over race relations and the roots of social inequality.



The movie gained a negative reception from movie critics.[3][4][5][6] It holds a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 33 reviews.

The movie was not a box office success.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (1995-02-06). "Turning the Tables on Race Relations". The New York Times. NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  2. ^ Willman, Chris (1995-03-19). "Turnabout of Foul Play : In 'White Man's Burden,' John Travolta and Harry Belafonte tilt racism on its head, in a universe where black culture dominates. Get ready to rock your world.". Los Angeles Times. LATimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  3. ^ Mathews, Jack (1995-12-01). "MOVIE REVIEW : Racial Role Reversal in 'White Man's Burden'". Los Angeles Times. LATimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  4. ^ Hicks, Chris (1995-12-05). "Film review: White Man's Burden". Deseret News. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  5. ^ LaSalle, Mick (1995-12-01). "FILM REVIEW - Blacks Have the Power In `White Man's Burden'". SFGate.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (1995-12-01). "White Man's Burden". SunTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  7. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1995-12-05). "Weekend Box Office : 'Toy Story' on a Roll". Los Angeles Times. LATimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]