The Burden story seems like it happened back in the 1950s. Sadly, the real events took place in the mid-1990s in America’s heartland.
In a small South Carolina town, The Echo Theater, also known as the “Redneck Shop,” was established in 1996 as the KKK Museum until 2012. An idealistic Reverend David Kennedy took to the streets to prevent racial tensions from boiling over. One day, he came across Mike Burden, a former Klansman who was urged to surrender his ways after a relationship with a single mother. Shocking his congregation and both sides of the community, Kennedy helps Burden to leave his violent past toward peace. In the end, Burden hands over his ownership of The Echo Theater to the New Baptist Missionary Church.
The film stars Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Tom Wilkinson, Andrea Riseborough, Tess Harper, Crystal Fox, and Usher. Andrew Heckler wrote and directed the movie.
LRM Online was on the red carpet before a special screening of the movie in Beverly Hills last night. We had the opportunity to speak with the subjects of the film, including Reverend David E. Kennedy and Mike Burden. A few of the cast members and producers were present for this film celebration, including Austin Hebert, Dexter Darden, Taylor Gregory, and producer Robbie Brenner.
In the following interviews, director Andrew Heckler spoke with us on the process of taking more than 20 years to bring this film to life. Reverend Kennedy has a plea on transforming The Echo Theater into a place of peace and the funds needed to help. And finally, Mike Burden talked with us about the transformation and realization about himself along with this movie.
Burden is now playing in select theaters. For more information, visit its official web site here.
Watch our exclusive red carpet interviews below.
Reverend David E. Kennedy
Director Andrew Heckler
Producer Robbie Brenner
Source: LRM Online Exclusive