With all the fantastical, superficial, sensational movies spawned upon the screen, “The Least of These” will quietly shrivel into obscurity, an undeserving demise for an analysis in quiet devotion, a pure evaluation of a sincere and godly man; Mother Teresa (1910-1997), founder of the “Missionaries of Charity”, whose altruistic dedication to the sick, disenfranchised, poverty-stricken of India, earned her a Nobel Peace Prize (1979) and sainthood (2016), is universally revered; Graham Staines (1941-1999) deserves equal lionization. As an Australian Christian missionary he served respectfully, fearlessly the leper colonies, surrounding the town of Orissa, India.
Director Aneesh Daniel with stars Stephen Baldwin (Staines) and Sharman Joshi (journalist, Manav Banerjee) realistically, luridly address the conversion process, its fruitful blessings and untoward curses; Banerjee, convinced that converts are paid for their denouncements and subsequent Christian commitments, tracks the missionary’s daily haunts; Staines is guileless, no hint of self-aggrandizement touches his untainted equanimity; resulting in the gradual bombardment of Banerjee’s resolve.
“The least of these brothers of mine” (Matt. 25: 31-46), was Graham Staines mantra, treating, healing, converting those shunned, outcast by society; simplistically beautiful, spiritually uncomplicated, “The Least of These” is a gift unto itself.