End Of The Spear
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"End of the Spear" is the remarkable journey of a savage Amazon tribesman who becomes family to the son of a North American man he kills. Mincayani (Louie Leonardo) is a Waodani warrior who leads the raid that kills Steve Saint's father and four other missionaries. Through a suspenseful series of events Steve Saint (Chase Ellison) is able to visit Mincayani's tribe. Steve tries to learn which warriors killed his father, but has to leave with his question unanswered. Steve returns to the Waodani as an adult (Chad Allen). Together Mincayani and Steve confront the true meaning of the life and death of Steve's father, and the other men who were killed.
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In the past few years, I have read of Valerie's return visit to her childhood home in Ecuador and various articles Mrs. Eliot and Valerie have written for Christian magazines. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing "The End of the Spear," but it is a film I would need to see a few times before all the details would sink in. I believe the title is appropriate as it has two meanings: (1)the deadly, pointed end of a spear used by a primitive tribe and (2) the end of violence as a way of life for the Indians once they accepted the teachings of Jesus Christ. Both meanings remind me of the Bible verse about "turning spears into plough-shares" and "studying war no more." In my opinion, the cast and the sound track of the film are excellent. I would recommend this film very highly.
In the Waorani history is the tradition that the child of a parent is responsible for revenging the death of his parent. As this story unfolds, we are given the privilege of watching the story unfold in a very different way. This is a story of grace, forgiveness, and victory in God's redeeming love.
Apart from the remarkable story of Christian love and forgiveness, the film is well made. The acting is quite good and the cinematography is excellent with impressive aerial scenes. The jungle seems alive with both danger and sometimes breathtaking beauty. The use of language seems very authentically done with the missionaries speaking English while other characters speak either native language or Spanish with English subtitles. Overall "End of the Spear" is an excellent if very sad film. It is inspiring but is really more suited to mature audiences with its sometimes graphic violence.
Overall, I thought that it was tastefully done. It certainly is not a factual account for such would create a mere documentary. There were aspects and details that may not have been included but if every aspect and every detail were included, we would me sitting in the theater for a week or more.
I was impressed that that movie, not produced by a Christian company, did not stop at the killing of the missionaries for that would be a typical American ending but followed through with an account of the tremendous and historical reconciliation and forgiveness of that event. That we see that one culture had grown from settling differences and greivance through killing of its own people, changed to see a larger way to resolve conflict and injustices.
As I think back on the film, I am reminded that, in this broken world greed and selfishness, we are faced with violence - lashing out in anger over anything, trying to prove that Might means Power and Dominance, "an eye for an eye" - all over the world, even in our own neighborhoods. The story we see in "End of the Spear" is really an example of our global scenario. We just need to complete the story.
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