Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Least Among You - A Movie Review

When I finished writing my last book review for Booksneeze, I immediately looked for the next book available. To my surprise, I found that Booksneeze was offering a movie for review! How fun.

From Amazon's product description: Leaders are not chosen, they are called. Inspired by a true story. Richard Kelly (Cedric Sanders) is a black college graduate forced to serve probation at an all-white seminary after the 1965 Watts riots. Richard is encouraged by the seminary president, Alan Beckett, to break the color line. Richard nears his breaking point when he meets Samuel (Louis Gossett, Jr.), an elderly janitor who lives in the basement of his dormitory. As Samuel guides Richard through the trials of racism and the personal life that haunts him, Richard undergoes a transformation that forces him to choose between his dreams and his destiny.

A historical film, dealing with social issues, and based on a true story? Sounds like my kind of movie!

I asked my husband to watch the movie with me so that I could hear his opinion to help me construct my review. Unfortunately, neither of us cared for the movie. While I believe it had a good social theme (treating people with kindness regardless of their skin color) and a good spiritual theme (forgiveness and making the right decisions even in the face of difficulty), we thought the movie was poorly done.

Main issues - mediocre acting, underdeveloped characters, poor lighting, choppy scenes. Mr. Kelly decides that to orchestrate change, he is going to draft an amendment for the school by-laws with the required number of student and faculty signatures. What is the amendment about? Good question. It's not very clear what Mr. Kelly was petitioning for, only that it was something about increasing the enrollment of black students and faculty.

Toward the end of the movie, Mr. Kelly undergoes a very confusing conversion scene. Immediately after, his fellow students change from hating him enough to burn a cross in Mr. Kelly's room to wanting to support Mr. Kelly's petition. Why? Why the sudden change?

My biggest complaint about this movie is that The Dove Foundation printed their seal of approval on the cover of this DVD, certifying it as "Family Approved." I would not show this movie to any child under the age of 16, if even then. The movie is rated PG-13 for "some violence, thematic elements, and brief drug material." They forgot about the main character taking the Lord's name in vain, frequent smoking and alcohol use among school faculty, a scene showing a parent physically beating their child, and a girl's dress being ripped off.

Hopefully the true events this movie was "inspired by" were more inspirational.

Disclaimer - I did receive a free copy of this movie from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.


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