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The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story (2019)

PG-13 | | Drama | 29 March 2019 (India)
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As the social fabric of life in rural India disintegrates in the late 1990s, journalist Manav Banerjee (Sharman Joshi) moves with his pregnant wife to the State of Orissa in hope of a ... See full summary »

Director:

Aneesh Daniel

Writer:

Andrew E. Matthews (as Andrew Matthews)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Sharman Joshi ... Manav Banerjee
Stephen Baldwin ... Graham Staines
Shari Rigby ... Gladys Staines
Manoj Mishra Manoj Mishra ... Mahendra
Prakash Belawadi ... Kedar Mishra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anusuya Anusuya ... Mission Worker
Aditi Chengappa ... Shanti Banerjee
Aneesh Daniel ... House Agent
Phani Eggone Phani Eggone ... David
Campbell Ellis Campbell Ellis ... Philip Staines
Emily Ellis Emily Ellis ... Esther Staines
Isaac Ellis Isaac Ellis ... Timothy Staines
Aishwarya Iyer Aishwarya Iyer ... TV News Anchor (Female)
Krishna Chaithanya Joshi Krishna Chaithanya Joshi ... Admissions Clerk
Jyotsna Jyotsna ... Deepa
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Storyline

As the social fabric of life in rural India disintegrates in the late 1990s, journalist Manav Banerjee (Sharman Joshi) moves with his pregnant wife to the State of Orissa in hope of a better life and the promise of a lucrative career. When speculation mounts that local Australian missionary Graham Staines (Stephen Baldwin) is illegally proselytizing leprosy patients, Manav agrees to investigate undercover for the newspaper. What he finds is a series of revelations that are difficult to fathom and even harder to explain, and Manav is forced to make a choice between his own ambition and the truth. In the end, his actions spark a tragic event that is felt around the world. Based on a true story and shot on location in India, "THE LEAST OF THESE" beautifully illustrates the power of love, hope and forgiveness to overcome hate. Written by Vash

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where the Quest for Truth...Writes the Story of Love.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements/disturbing images | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 2019 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Odisha, India

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$605,908, 18 February 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Skypass Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gladys Staines continues her missionary work in North India to this day. See more »

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User Reviews

 
a story worth telling
3 February 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The story of Graham Staines certainly deserves to be told, as his impact is lasting and his kindness and devotion to the cause are quite extraordinary. In fact he paid the ultimate price ... actually even greater than that ... for his efforts, simply because he bucked tradition and offered an alternative to folks who previously had none.

Director Aneesh Daniel and writer Andrew E Matthews present Mr. Staines' story (based on true events), and even shot on location in India despite a limited budget. Sharman Joshi plays ambitious young journalist Manav Banerjee, who in the late 1990's packs up his pregnant wife Shanti (Aditi Chengappa) and heads to the remote Indian town of Orissa in hopes of securing a writing job for the local newspaper. Once there, he finds no guarantees - only an editor who assigns him the nearly impossible task of procuring evidence that a local missionary is illegally converting Hindus to Christianity.

The missionary is Australian Graham Staines who, along with his wife (Shari Rigby) and 3 kids, run a camp for locals afflicted with leprosy. Staines is played by Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the Baldwin brothers, and best known for his turn in THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995). Baldwin and his whispered Aussie accent plays Staines as a near-Saint; one who could only be doubted by the most ferocious traditionalists (of which there are many).

Mr. Joshi plays Banerjee as a bit of creepy-stalking guy who spends a little too much time staring at others. He's conflicted with fulfilling his assignment and discovering the truth about Staines. Banerjee's own moment of self-preservation likely inspired the horrific event by a mob of Hindu fundamentalists that, combined with some insider information, set Banerjee straight with how to proceed and what to report. In the process, he exposes the corruption and self-interest of rural India driven by the many minds closed by religious traditions.

Director Daniel opens the film with actual footage and archival clips of unrest and turmoil from those times. As you would expect, these clips are more disturbing and provide more intense reaction than anything the movie could produce (except for maybe the horrific event noted above). The overblown and overly-dramatic music doesn't help the presentation, yet somehow the message of kindness and forgiven is not lost.


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