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Off the top

A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

End of the Spear: a brief commentary

I stated a couple days ago in my Bits and Pieces post that End of the Spear had only been in my area for a few days. Well, apparently it was kept on longer. I saw it today.

It's a good movie. The gospel is there (in Waodani “terms”) and the story of forgiveness, of “laying down the spear,” is there too. It's not 100% historically accurate (what movie ever is?), but the gist is well-told, and with poignancy.

The bulk of the action features the exploits of the Waodani themselves as explained in dialogue subtitles; it’s dramatic and exciting if a little hard to follow in places. Some explanatory/background text at the beginning of the movie would be helpful. (My husband, who’s really good at following movie plots, got most of it.) I wouldn’t say that the acting is stellar, but the portrayals are effective. The Waodani are fierce, though the missionaries seem rather goofy, even worldly, and naive, if good-hearted (why they don’t pray more is a mystery).

I would’ve liked to see Steve Saint’s friendship with Mincaye (Mincayani) fleshed out more. The movie ends rather abruptly with Mincaye’s confession and Steve’s forgiveness (the event of which as portrayed is historical fiction, but does bring the, uh, point home). But there’s a great video clip* during the final credits in which Saint describes moments from Mincaye’s visit to the U.S., including his impressions of a restaurant drive-thru and a grocery store!

A statement in the credits explained that half of the movie’s profits will be donated toward aid of indigenous peoples such as the Waodani.

For background on the story and comments on End of the Spear, see this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A timeline can be found at the End of the Spear website (linked above).

*the clip is from Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a documentary of the Waodani and Mincaye's relationship with Steve Saint.

addendum: A fascinating five-part video of an interview with Steve Saint and Mincaye by CBN News can be found here.

yet another item of interest: Steve Saint himself actually appears briefly in the movie and is stunt pilot of the Piper aircraft, an exact replica of the plane flown by his father.


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