The Least Among You

 I don’t usually post reviews about movies, but when I noticed that publisher Thomas Nelson had DVD copies of The Least Among You for review, I decided to see what I thought about it. The story is about a young black man, Richard Kelly, who was falsely arrested in 1965 during the Watts riots. His probation is to attend an all-white seminary school.

While attending the school as the only, and first, black man on campus, Kelly faces all the obstacles you can imagine for a man in that situation including prejudice, misunderstanding, and all out racism. As Kelly’s confidence grows he begins to fight for change within the school, but eventually realizes the school leaders’ motives to let him into the school are not entirely pure. Ultimately his situation inspires as much change in himself as in the students.

The best part of this movie is that it is a true story. I had never heard Richard Kelly’s story before and while I think the story is much bigger than can be told in 97 minutes, I was very inspired by the movie. The cast, which gives some good performances, includes Cedric Sanders as Richard Kelly, as well as headliners Louis Gosset Jr., Lauren Holly, and William Devane.

The Least Among You has found an audience in the Christian community, but I daresay the fact that it was directed by Mark Young and produced by Julia Verdin, neither one of them strangers to mainstream media, might be why it turned out so well. Even though I am a Christian, I’d be the last person to claim that the Christian community has turned out several great movies (Yes, there have been some and there will probably be more).  It’s nice to see a movie that embodies Christian values that isn’t trite, preachy, or overly sentimental. I really believe that Christian values can be seen in all kinds of redemptive movies that are produced in the mainstream, but that’s another post.

Bottom Line: This is a great family movie (PG-13) for people who want to take the discussion about the civil rights movement beyond the classroom and into their living room. As a mom, I appreciate the struggle that Richard Kelly went through, not only as a young black man in a white school, but in the choices he had to make about his future. His faith took him through some pretty big trials and when my children are a little bit older, I plan to have them watch The Least Among You.

Check out the trailer and learn more about the film at the official movie site: The Least Among You

-Tina

Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House, from Waterbrook Press/Random House

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