Garrett Hedlund plays Mike Burden, a former Ku Klux Klan member who sought to leave his hate-filled life behind

By Ale Russian
October 23, 2019 08:00 AM

Garrett Hedlund plays a man looking for redemption in the powerful first trailer for Andrew Heckler’s Burden, exclusive to PEOPLE.

Hedlund stars as the real-life Mike Burden, a former Ku Klux Klan member who left the Klan thanks to the guidance of an African-American Baptist minister, Reverend Kennedy (played by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker).

“The weapons that we use to fight fear, they’re not brutality, they are not wrath, they are not hate. They are and will always be love,” Whitaker’s Kennedy says in the beginning of the trailer as he preaches at church.

Burden is seen committing violent hate crimes around the city in the trailer’s opening moments. As his viewpoint shifts, a scene shows him asking Kennedy for help in leaving his past behind.

“Done a lot of bad things in my life that I now regret,” Burden says.

“If you truly want to leave the Klan, then the first step is admitting what you’ve done,” Kennedy tells him.


The trailer flashes through a series of scenes with Burden attempting to make a better life for himself while facing the consequences of his violent crimes.

And after he’s left on the street with his girlfriend and her son, Reverend Kennedy offers him a place in his home.

“They may set crosses burning in the middle of the night, but we will the night with a different kind of fire,” one of the characters says as the trailer ends.

Burden — also starring Tom Wilkinson, Andrea Riseborough, Tess Harper, Crystal Fox and Usher Raymond — is out in theaters February 28, 2020.