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The story takes place in alternative America where the blacks are members of social elite, and whites are inhabitants of inner city ghettos. Louis Pinnock is a struggling white worker in a chocolate factory, loving husband and father of two children. While delivering a package for black CEO Thaddeus Thomas, he is mistaken for a voyeur and, as a result, loses his job, gets beaten by black cops and his family gets evicted from their home. Desperate, Pinnock takes a deadly weapon and kidnaps Thomas, demanding justice, but the fight he will have to finish will cost him more than his job was ever worth.Written by
Dragan Antulov <email@example.com>
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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[Last lines. Mrs. Pinnock has just refused to accept from Mr. Thomas the money he owed her husband]
Why don't you keep it? I can give you some more if you think... if you think it's not enough.
How much is enough, Mr. Thomas? How much will ever be enough?
[turns, shuts the door and walks away]
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WHITE MAN'S BURDEN tries to tell a social story dealing in an alternate universe where America has black people at the top of the economic chain and whites are the poorly class. Factory worker Louis (John Travolta) is charged with a crime he didn't commit, he loses his home and job and finally snaps to the point where he decides to take his boss (Harry Belafonte) hostage and seek justice.
WHITE MAN'S BURDEN, I think, has its heart in the right place. I guess the filmmakers thought that white people just couldn't understand the social injustices that are happening across America so they thought it would be a good idea to make a movie and reverse the race roles. This was a rather good idea and I think everyone had their hearts in the right place but the end result is a real letdown.
The biggest problem with this movie is its rather stupid screenplay, which seems to think that the viewers aren't all that bright and that this role reversal thing will be all it takes to change people's minds on various social issues. THe problem with this movie is that the set-up just isn't all that good and to this day I still remember the various laughs that the film got in the theater as most people just weren't buying it.
The screenplay asks a lot of challenging quetions about race, social justice and various other things but we're given no answers, which makes the entire film seems kind of pointless. You have the role switch yet nothing much is ever done with it. It's really too bad that the film just didn't pack much of a punch because both Travolta and Belafonte are quite good in their roles.
As it stands, WHITE MAN'S BURDEN tries to have an "A" message but the entire film seems like a "B" movie from the 1970's when blaxploitation was a big craze. The film probably would have played even better back then as more laughs would have gone for, which would have taken away some of the unintentional ones that are here.
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