White Man's Burden - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

White Man's Burden Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2009
Like the professional critics will tell you, VERY interesting premise, but the execution fell short
Super Reviewer
½ June 8, 2007
Not the movie it could have been, but still thought provoking.
½ July 27, 2015
What if the roles were reversed. Would the treatment of minority races or religious groups be any different. Honestly I think not.
October 18, 2010
Kind of silly concept where you can tell the director wanted to make a "statement" but just comes off as stupid.
½ February 21, 2010
If you ever thought to yourself, "I'd like to experience a world where John Travolta whines a lot and the role of "The Man" is played by a black man," boy, have I found the movie for you! Enjoy.
November 23, 2009
(from The Watermark 12/10/95)
WHITE MAN?S BURDEN (John Travolta, Harry Belafonte): A neat idea gone bad, the film takes place in a society where black people have all of the money and power, and white people are the oppressed minority. Travolta is an innocent worker for one of Belafonte?s factories. When Belafonte unintentionally has Travolta fired, Travolta takes him hostage, and in true buddy-movie form, Belafonte gains insight into the racial injustice he perpetuates.
The film could have worked beautifully, but it has three blatantly obvious problems: First, it needs to better explain the racially-flip-flopped-society thing. Did black Africans colonize the states and were white slaves imported from Europe, perhaps? Was there a time whites had power, but lost it? The lack of basic information weakens the punch that the film is trying to deliver.
Second, and most glaringly wrong, is the way the film is too heavy-handed. There are no wealthy white people and no poor black people - anywhere. We know this isn?t the case in our own society. Shouldn?t a film about racism strive to shatter stereotypes instead of reinforcing them? The film shows Travolta being unnecessarily beaten by two black cops as though it?s something we wouldn?t ordinarily believe can occur. If this film had been made twenty or thirty years ago, it would have been a jarring wake-up call. In 1995, everybody is quite aware of racial inequality. It seems awfully pandering.
Third, I felt completely helpless as I left the theatre. What are we supposed to draw from the film? What can one person do to help? To the makers of White Man?s Burden, three words come to mind: Offer a solution.
Queer Quotient: When is someone going to make a film in which the entire world is homosexual, except for a small percentage of outcasts who are attracted to the opposite sex? Harvey Fierstein should write it, don?t you think? It couldn?t be worse than this crap for the subtlety-impaired.

POST-REVIEW 11/23/2009: My proposed "Queer Quotient" idea was actually done... in the form of an off-Broadway musical called "Zanna, Don't!" It ran for a few months in 2003 and it starred Jai Rodriguez before he became famous on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. It's a pretty fun show, go see it if it's ever produced near you.
½ December 13, 2008
Had potential. Best words to describe it. With Pulp Fiction's producer, I thought it'd be a little more edgy. I would say that it seems like a good movie to watch about racism, but part of me thinks not because it is sooooo stereotypical and that never helps bring change. It had a good message, but I think was poorly executed. Harry Belafonte was pretty cool in it though.
August 28, 2008
Pretty good idea. The roles are reversed so white people are second class citizens. The point of this film is to show what blacks go through. It does a good job. An excellent anti-racism film.
December 23, 2007
Taught me a lot about white priveledge. Well worth the watch... uses some extremes to make a point.
August 24, 2007
This movie takes palce in alternative America where blacks are members of the elite society and whites are the inhabitants of the inter city ghettos. This is two men at odds in a world turned upside down. Good drama movie.
June 10, 2007
This social commentary is so on it, I was really cracking up about it at the movie. This is a real treat for all races to witness a white man living a life of black man in America. This is a movie enema for American audiences. Yea, man!
May 19, 2007
This is a great film, I watched it in my Sociology class in high school and i thought it was one of the best movies to watch, it has a big meaning behind it!
½ April 10, 2007
If I was African American I would be very offended about how my race was portrayed (by the white people in the film). As a white person I'm amused as to how my race was portrayed (by the African Americans in the film) Travolta proves useless once again. Overall, I feel the director is out of touch and the film lacks depth...not to sound cliche but it was very annoying
½ March 22, 2007
I love to read reviews of this movie because they all claim that it comes off as offensive and stupid...

well, duh? isn't just what sterotypes tend to do???
April 16, 2006
Great idea for a movie and makes you reflect a little on the way life is. But if I remember correctly, the story and plot was boring and dumb.
½ April 22, 2006
I'm beginning the rather lengthy task of entering into the database every film I have seen, at least those I have a decent memory of. Some may have the briefest of reviews while many will just have a number. Those films that I consider personal favorites and/or those that have some historical signficance I will add later when I have time for more lengthy reviews.

[b]White Squall[/b] Director: Ridley Scott. Stars Jeff Bridges, Scott Wolf, Caroline Goodall and John Savage. Fact-based coming-of-age story about a bunch of wealthy prep-schoolers who's parents pay for them to learn how to sail. Tragedy soon strikes.

[b]A Walk in the Clouds[/b] Director: Alfonso Arau. Stars Keanu Reeves, Anthony Quinn, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, and Giancarlo Giannini. Romantic drama set after WWII. Not horrible, but not good enough to recommend.

[b]White Man's Burden[/b] Director: Desmond Nakano. Stars John Travolta, Harry Belafonte, Margaret Avery and Kelly Lynch. The film takes a look at racism in reverse where blacks are wealthy and the whites are the poorer underclass. Good idea for a film, but poorly written and executed here.

[b]The Babe[/b]. Director: Arthur Hiller. Stars John Goodman, Kelly McGillis, and Trini Alvarado. Forgettable sports drama about Babe Ruth.
April 6, 2005
[font=Comic Sans MS][size=3]An interesting ide that wasn't taken far enough in some parts and too far in others. Not the worst film of it's kind and loaded with the expected cliches.[/size][/font]
½ July 27, 2015
What if the roles were reversed. Would the treatment of minority races or religious groups be any different. Honestly I think not.
June 7, 2015
excellent view point so I have heard
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