The Least Among You
|The Least Among You|
|Directed by||Mark Young|
|Produced by||Mark Young|
|Written by||Mark Young|
Louis Gossett Jr.
The Least Among You is a film based on the true story of Rev. Dr. Charles Marks' formative years, written and directed by first time writer/director Mark Young. It explores issues of self-determination in the face of systemic racial persecution in the United States in the mid-1960s.
In the opening minutes of the film, Richard Kelly (played by Cedric Sanders), is behind bars, having been arrested during the infamous Watts Riots for allegedly assaulting a police officer. Though he maintains that he is innocent, Kelly is convicted. At his sentencing he is presented with a choice between serving jail time and serving probation for one year as a student at an all-white Christian theological seminary.
Kelly faces overt hostility from his fellow students and confusion over his place in the school from the faculty. He has the support and encouragement from the President of the Seminary (played by William Devane), up until he begins to attempt to introduce institutional changes which would lead to further racial integration of the student body and inclusion of racial minorities on the faculty. At that point, the President turns against him, fearing the loss of funding from the seminary's benefactors.
As his situation at the seminary worsens, Kelly seeks out the advice and counsel of the groundskeeper, Sam (Louis Gossett, Jr.). Sam places his own job in jeopardy by supporting Kelly's attempts at institutional change. Though his employment is terminated for a time, he is eventually reinstated. Kelly's project to integrate the student body and the faculty is successful, and he decides to remain at the seminary even after his probationary period ended.
- Louis Gossett, Jr. as Samuel Benton
- Starletta Dubois as Mrs. Benton
- Lauren Holly as Kate Allison
- William Devane as Alan Beckett
- Cedric Sanders as Richard Kelly
- Siena Goines as Ruth Kelly
Principal photography began in December 2007, in Los Angeles.
The Least Among You was released on DVD on August 24, 2010 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment. and the Cinequest Film Festival. Cedric Sanders won the Best Actor Award at the 2009 San Diego Black Film Festival for his role in The Least Among You.
The Least Among You did not capture the attention of the public or the critics to any significant degree. Neither of the major movie review aggregators, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic contains an entry.
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- Tribbey, Chris (August 31, 2010). "Gossett Jr. Says Latest has 'Long Shelf Life'". Home Media Magazine. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Stark, Clinton (March 4, 2009). "Cinequest Film Festival: 'The Least Among You' screening and maverick spirit award for Louis Gossett Jr.". Stark Insider. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Sullivan, Matt (August 19, 2010). "Alaskan's DVD to drop on Tuesday". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 13 October 2011.