End of the Spear Movie Poster Image

End of the Spear

(i)

 

Christian missionaries "save" Ecuadorian tribe.
  • Review Date: December 14, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Nonviolent message is commendable; stereotyping of characters (white and native) is regrettable.

Violence

Several scenes involving hunting and/or spearing of humans, with wounding and blood visible.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes some explicit violence: White hunters kidnap a Waodoni girl (in an early, harrowing chase and grab scene); the Waodonis kill each other and members of another tribe, out of vengeance and fear; and the Waodonis attack four white missionaries, spearing them brutally. As a child, the son of one of the dead missionaries lives briefly with his aunt and the tribe, unknowingly befriending the man who killed his father. Eventually, they have an emotional reckoning.

What's the story?

Set in the late 1950s, END OF THE SPEAR is drawn "from a true story," in which Christian missionaries try to save Ecuadorian "savages" from themselves. The story centers on Nate Saint (Chad Allen) and his young son Steve, who, along with other missionaries, venture into the jungle to convert the Waodani tribe. Though Nate and his fellows speak no Waodani, they imagine they will be greeted as saviors. The Waodanis have good reason to fear the foreigners. They attack and kill Nate, whose last words are the only Waodani phrase he's learned -- "I'm your friend." Astounded to hear his language from a stranger, warrior Mincayani (Louie Leonardo) is haunted by the memory for years. The wives of the slain missionaries vow to continue their work, several deciding to go into the jungle, along with Dayumae, who was raised by and works for Nate's sister. Mincayani is suspicious of the white ladies, but his tribesmate Kimo (Jack Guzman) accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior (using his own language and martyr myth to structure the conversion) and helps the strangers settle in.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Heartfelt but clumsy, Jim Hanon's anachronistic film raises more questions than it answers. This "story" is hardly new, and here it is told with a particular forcefulness.

Then again, this Christian saga insistently promotes nonviolence, especially welcome given the preponderance of mainstream media violence committed in many religions' names. Further, the casting of the irrepressibly out and undeniably charismatic Chad Allen quietly assumes some openness on the part of the film's audience. Still, End of the Spear does fall back on unpleasant stereotypes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's two main themes. One, is evangelism an effective and fair or aggressive and intrusive way to change an entire community's behavior and culture? And two, how does the film make the case for nonviolence rather than vengeance, in response to devastating violence? How does the film use stereotypes to make this case -- generous and collaborative women, enthusiastic but ignorant white men, and violent and primitive natives?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 20, 2006
DVD release date:June 13, 2006
Cast:Chad Allen, Chase Ellison, Louie Leonardo
Director:Jim Hanon
Studio:Every Tribe Entertainment
Genre:Drama
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:for intense sequences of violence.

This review of End of the Spear was written by

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Quality

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byTrinity3 March 21, 2009

Inspirational

I saw this when i was either 12 or 13 and found it to be rather violent. I wouldnt have found the movie so upsetting if it werent a true story. however it is and that is what people need to understand before going to see it. Shows a very good depiction of what went down when these Christian missionary men were killed by the tribe that later on comes to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 13 year old Written byMontysMom October 23, 2011

1 Part documentary plus 1 part Hollywood=

Enjoyed it. Refreshing change from slick, sickly sweet hollywood productions with unrealistic happy endings. Real life family drama in the jungle, filled with spirituality and hope.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old August 27, 2013

This is a GREAT Movie!

I thought this was a GREAT movie. It has great story and message! The acting was wonderful! It is violent and emotional, I saw it with my dad and we forwarded the one scene of when they speared the four missionaries because it IS graphic. I would NOT let anyone under 11 see it, but if your twelve or older I think it be fine. (You might want to forward some of the spearing scenes depending on what you can handle on violence). Over all I would definitely recommend this for anyone 12 and up! :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence

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