End of the Spear

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
End of the Spear Movie Poster Image
Christian missionaries "save" Ecuadorian tribe.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 112 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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... Continue reading
Adult Written byAussieBrat17 April 9, 2008

I cried & laughed!

It is a very touching story. It makes you want to run out and do something good for someone else. I would only recommend it for teens at least 16yrs old because... Continue reading
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 an... Continue reading
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 t... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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