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    1. #1
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      Default The least of these : The Graham Staines story



      This is an English language movie made by Americans on a barbaric hate crime that took place in India in 1999---the burning alive of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons by Hindu chauvinists who believed that Staines was paying money to poor tribal people to convert to Christianity . The central event of the movie is real of course , but the movie is a fictionalised account of that .


      Stephen Baldwin plays the missionary and Shari Rigby plays his wife Gladys Staines . Sharman Joshi plays Manav Banerjee , an Indian reporter who comes to the Indian state of Orissa where Graham is working . Manav meets a newspaper editor ( played by Prakash Belawadi ) and promises to unearth evidence of Graham paying money to poor people to convert to Christianity , something that is a crime in India if done by money inducements ( though preaching and conversion to any religion is acceptable if done without fraudulent means ) . But the editor asks him to join Graham as a trojan horse by accepting Christianity in order to win Graham's trust , and then report and take photographic evidence of Graham paying money to poor people to convert .

      However Manav directly confronts Graham , who denies using money to convert Indians . Manav gets to closely observe the work that Graham is doing curing leprosy patients in India and soon realises that Graham is doing a commendable job serving these patients who are pariahs among their own people after having contracted leprosy . Graham is the only person willing to touch them and give them any shred of dignity and hope . Of course Graham admits that he hopes that they will convert , but without money inducements it is not illegal at all . Manav tries to find out evidence that people are being converted by fraudulent means but finds no such thing .

      During his research Manav comes to realise that a man named Mahendra ( Manoj Mishra ) is ready to take Staines' life and goes to warn Staines of this , but too late....Mahendra and his goons have already committed the deadly crime of burning alive Graham and his two small sons Timothy and Philip . Manav is affected by the dignity with which Gladys forgives her husband's killers , and by the fact that Graham's son had begun to believe himself to be an Indian and dreamt of becoming a cricket player not of Australia but of India like Sachin Tendulkar the Indian cricket star .

      Also Manav comes to realise the motive of his newspaper editor in having a hatred towards Graham ; he is son of a leprosy patient that Graham allegedly converted to Christianity . But the patient says that he never converted to Christianity and opens Manav's eyes . Manav then goes to press in another newspaper telling the truth about Staines and the false allegations his earlier editor was making , thus resulting in the editor's expulsion from his job . Gladys goes on to continue her husband's work and she and her husband are duly recognised by the Indian government and given civilian honours .

      The movie furthers India's image in the west as not only being poverty afflicted but also leprosy afflicted , and this forms a most unwelcome image . Of course , the movie gives a one sided picture as it has been produced by American Christians . Was Graham Staines really using money to convert the downtrodden ? God knows , but certainly burning him and his two young sons alive was unforgivable .

      Acting and emotions wise , the movie scores and has a sentimental effect on the audience . Photography and colours are decent . Music wise , the movie again does very well and the music does a good job of heightening the emotional aspect of the movie .

      Verdict---Good .

      Four stars out of five .
      Last edited by ashdoc; 6th April 2019 at 10:17 PM.

    2. #2
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      Thanks Ashdoc
      The dream of being alive even in the shape of a human

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      Thanks ash

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