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Beyond The Gates Of Splendor
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At its heart, it is about nothing less than sacrifice (human) and redemption (Godly).
This artistic, feature-length documentary story is set among the Ecuadorian Waodani Indians and the missionary men and women who gave their lives to reach them.
In late 1956, around this time of year, the Los Angeles Times featured headlines that said: "SAVAGES KILL FIVE MISSIONARIES." It was a big, brutal story that jolted the hearts of readers safely ensconced in the Eisenhower era.
I was not ready for the emotional intensity of this memorable story that begins with Waodani tribe person describing their way of life prior to the missionaries' arrival.
Primitive, archival home movies from the missionary families are intercut with sharp, colorful, contemporary interviews with the Waodani.
What is so astonishing is seeing how faith and forgiveness can bring love and healing in the most unexpected and extreme of circumstances.
This superb documentary is an adaptation of Elisabeth Elliot's book. A theatrical feature based on the murders and aftermath, "End of the Spear," will be released in 2006.
It tells the story of 5 missionaries and their families. They were trying to reach a savage group of killers, the Waoranis of Ecuador, with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through a number of misunderstandings, the Waoranis killed these men, not understanding that they wanted to be friends. Years later several family members of the murdered missionaries tried again to reach the Waoranis. They lived among them and shared God's love with them, and today the Waorani culture and people have transformed. Today the murderers of those missionaries are like family members to the missionaries' families. The story is told through film footage, still photos and interviews with surviving participants. The Waoranis' interviews are in their language, with English subtitles.
This film is appropriate for all ages. It's refreshing to see the story of people so dedicated to an ideal that they will die for it. And then to see these former savage killers, together with the families of those they killed - wow, it's powerful stuff. Near the end of the shoot here in Panama, we spent an incredible evening meeting both the Waoranis featured in the documentary and several of the family members of the missionaries. The joy and love you see in this film is authentic.Read more ›
By the way, I am an atheist who feels that some missionary work can, in fact, have a largely negative impact on the indigenous peoples they are trying to convert. But even I was moved by the the sense of dedication and forgiveness shown by these women when they went to live with the same Waodanis who had murdered their husbands. But, even more so, I was interested in this movie from an anthropological point of view. It was fascinating to hear the comments of the anthropologists who had gone from working with one of the world's most peaceful tribes in Malaysia to now studying one of the most violent in the Waodanis.Read more ›
Reluctant Cheesehead - This documentary won Audience Choice at the Palm Beach Internation Film Festival...a SECULAR event. Maybe you should watch it before you write a review? Your comments contradict what the indians themselves say in the film.
I am looking forward to the release of End of the Spear!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hard hitting but true to life. I couldn't put the book down. I broke my heart but it inspired me so much that it was worth every minute.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer, Gayle D
This review is not to the quality or content of the film but rather to the product description, in the product details it offers English, French and Spanish Dolby Surround, which... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Henry Avila
Movie of the true story of missionaries to Ecuador in the 1950s and the aftermath.Published 11 months ago by Marita L. Hackbarth
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