[[caption-width-right:214:Two men at odds in a world turned upside down.]]

''White Man's Burden'' is a 1995 film starring Creator/JohnTravolta and Creator/HarryBelafonte in an {{alternate|Universe}} [[DifferentStatesOfAmerica America]] in which blacks are the racial majority, and whites are a minority group. Travolta plays as Louis Pinnock, a factory worker, and Belafonte plays as Thaddeus Thomas, the owner of the factory. One day, Louis is asked to deliver a package to Thaddeus' house. However, he accidentally walks by the bedroom window where Thaddeus' wife is undressing. Thaddeus sees him, and reports him to Louis' supervisor, who fires him the next day. Shortly afterwards, Louis is beaten by cops on the way home, evicted from his house, and lands in a sore spot with his family. Unable to find a stable job, Louis kidnaps Thaddeus in order to gain money for his family. A series of events follow that change both of their lives forever.

Not to be confused [[Main/WhiteMansBurden with the trope]] with the [[NamesTheSame same name]], which does not play a major role in the film.

!!This film provides examples of
* AngryBlackMan: But fitting with the theme of the film, it's actually a StereotypeFlip, with Louis being white instead of black in this film but it's played in the exact same way.
* BlackGalOnWhiteGuyDrama: {{Inverted}}. In the race-flipped society, Thaddeus' wife shows obvious discomfort when her son brings home a white date.
* DifferentStatesOfAmerica: The film is set in an alternate United States that is very much the same as the real life version, except that [[PersecutionFlip race relations are reversed]], with blacks as the social majority and whites as the social minority.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Thaddeus comes to see the error of his ways, but Louis is shot and killed by police, his surviving family now lives in a run-down hotel, and it is implied that Louis' son is likely heading down a bad path.]]
* GlorifiedSpermDonor: [[DiscussedTrope Mentioned by Thaddeus]] when his wife is discussing an event she was at that had inner-city white children there. She is not amused.
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler: Louis is shot dead by police when they see him holding a gun, even though he is trying to give up.]]
* InSpiteOfANail: Despite the cultural reversal, America turned out pretty much the same, just with blacks in traditionally white roles, and vice versa. One slight cultural change that is shown is that heavy metal is the music of ghetto youth, instead of rap and hip-hop.
* JustTheIntroductionToTheOpposites: The whole movie.
* {{Mammy}}: Inverted in the film, which is set in an alternate America where blacks are the dominant ethnic group and whites are the minority. Wealthy businessman Thaddeus Thomas has a white live-in maid who otherwise fits the physical description of being older, overweight, and servile exactly.
* NeverTrustATrailer: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaX41DhH870 The trailer]] makes the movie look like an action thriller where Louis is a badass AntiHero. In actuality, the action moments in the trailer are practically ''all'' of the action moments in the entire film. Also, Thaddeus is made to look more villainous. For example, his line "white people are genetically inferior" is taken out of context so that it sounds like he's stating his own opinion.[[note]]The opinion he was stating in that scene was still racist, but not quite that racist.[[/note]]
* PersecutionFlip
* PoliceBrutality: Louis becomes a victim of this when two cops mistake him for a perp with a similar appearance (i.e. white). They beat him up after he gets justifiably upset at this.
* ScaryMinoritySuspect: Like many other race tropes, played differently than usual. Louis is thrust into this when two black cops mistake him for a similar looking perp, [[spoiler: and eventually leads to his death when the police find him surrendering while he is holding his gun.]]
* StereotypeFlip: The entire movie has blacks and whites reversing stereotypes. The white Louis' form of speech is very street-wise, whereas the black Thaddeus is much more articulate. One minor difference is that the music of white youth is heavy metal instead of rap.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Thaddeus gives Louis this after he almost escapes him. Ignorant of what Louis has gone through up until his kidnapping, he insists that all of his short-comings are his fault, and his fault alone.
* TooDumbToLive [[spoiler: Surrendering while still holding your gun isn't the best of ideas Louis.]]
* WhiteMansBurden: Almost completely {{Averted}}, despite the name. This film is about an alternate America with a StereotypeFlip where whites and blacks switch places in the social-economic ladder. It doesn't feature this trope (or rather, its [[InvertedTrope inversion]]) particularly much since the well-off black deuteragonist Thaddeus regards lower class whites such as protagonist Louis with contempt and racial prejudice, [[DownplayedTrope but his wife does support a charity to help poor white youths from the inner cities]].