The Least Among You is based on a true story of Richard Kelly, a young intelligent black man, who was arrested during the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles, California. He was able to avoid prison if he attended an all-white seminary. His mother had always desired him to become a pastor. Initially, the president of the seminary had hoped he would break the social barrier, but when Kelly's ideals come up against his funding for a new technology building, the president sides against him. Kelly finds friendship and counsel in the "gardener in the basement" as Kelly describes Samuel Benton. In the end, Kelly is forced to make a decision: should he stand for what he believes or go against what he believes so that he might avoid going back to prison. I will leave you to guess what he chooses.
Honestly, if this movie was not based on a true story, I would have not thought it very realistic. Who avoids prison time by being forced to attend seminary? It sounds like a Seinfeld episode to me. But beyond that, this movie certainly did not paint a very good picture of Christian leadership or seminaries. I am unsure what kind of seminary it was that he attended, but they certainly questioned the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. Even at one point, the president of the seminary referred to himself as "the one who prunes the branches," a reference to John 15 (where Jesus is vine and we are the branches). Certainly it does paint a picture of a moral dilemma that Kelly is faced with. Should he do what he thinks is right or coward to save himself.
I have never been very fond of too many Christian movies and this one stacks right up there. The quality was not as bad as some Christian movies I have seen, but the plot line just left me bored and not interested. It is almost 100 minutes long, 100 minutes that could be put to something better productive for your Christian life and the Kingdom of God.
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