Breaking news here in my corner of cyberspace: I think the days of “Christian movies” are behind us. Now, we have mainstream movies that are Christian. Big difference – and a much bigger audience.
I received a DVD of “The Least Among You” and I was taken aback by the cast: Louis Gossett, Jr. (“MAY-YO-NAISE!” – remember that?), Lauren Holly and William Devane (who shares a birthday with my husband). The movie features a solid performance by Cedric Sanders as Richard Kelly. I think Lauren Holly might steal the show here though. Her performance was heartfelt and dead on point.
“The Least Among You” is based on a true story. I haven’t researched the background here, so I don’t know how much creative license is taken, but the story is quite powerful. In the 1960s, Richard Kelly gets a chance at probation instead of jail, by attending seminary – an all-white seminary. Personal prejudices, money, politics and power struggles all come into play as we see Richard, and those around him, changed.
“We are all called to act on our faith, not our fear,” Samuel (Gossett, Jr.) says. This movie shows that faith in action.
I think the audience for this movie is broader than Christian films of the past that were perhaps pigeon-holed due to theme. Bringing an undiluted message that isn’t prohibitively heavy-handed remains the challenge of Christian movies as they gain a wider audience. The key – and I think this film hits a homerun with it – is telling a good story first. This is an evangelistic tool, no doubt, but your non-Christian friends can find something here on which to hang their hat. Who doesn’t love Lou Gossett? This is a nice addition to the trend I am starting to see unfold. Support this movie and others like it by voting with your pocketbook.
Parents, please note that the Christian point of view doesn’t mean this is a movie for kids. The themes are for middle school and older, in my opinion. There’s a word or two you might not want littles to hear, but more importantly, kids need to be old enough to understand the context of this story. It’s a good one, but enjoy it for at-home date night or with the teens.
“The Least Among You” is available on DVD.
I was provided a copy of the DVD for review. My opinions are my own.