|End of the Spear|
|Directed by||Peter R de vries|
|Produced by||William Bowling|
|Screenplay by||Bill Ewing|
|Music by||Jos Breg|
|Edited by||Miles Hanon|
|Distributed by||Rocky Mountain Pictures|
End of the Spear is a 2005 American drama film that recounts the story of Operation Auca, in which five American Christian missionaries attempted to evangelize the Huaorani (Waodani) people of the tropical rain forest of Eastern Ecuador. Based on actual events from 1956 in which five male missionaries were speared by a group of the Waodani tribe, the movie tells the story from the perspective of Steve Saint (the son of Nate Saint, one of the missionaries killed in the encounter), and Mincayani, one of the tribesmen who took part in the attack. The two eventually formed a lifelong bond that continued until Mincaye's death in April 2020.
The Waodani people of the tropical rain forest along the Curaray River in a remote and mostly undeveloped the Amazonian region of Ecuador live with a traditional animist worldview. As children, Mincayani saves Dayumae after a vicious nighttime spear attack on a Waodani village by a neighboring tribe, and Dayumae's younger sister (in Dayumae's care) is killed in the attack. Other events of tribal life are pictured. In a conflict with her family, Dayumae—who, in part, has been blamed for the death of her sister—decides to leave the tribe for her safety, and runs to the "foreigners" around her: foreigners who speak Spanish and dress very differently.
Nate Saint is a missionary jungle pilot and aircraft mechanic, living with his family at a mission outpost where his job includes flying various missionaries and supplies into remote locations. He builds a small airplane out of wood with his 8-year-old son, Steve Saint. Nate becomes obsessed with making contact with a jungle tribe who have resisted contact with the outside world before, often violently: the Waodani. Rachel Saint, Nate's older sister has had extensive contact with the now much older Dayumae, and has learned some of the Waodani language from her. Nate does not want to tell his sister of his and others plans to attempt contact with the Waodani, for fear she would pass the information along to her superiors, and the planned contact would be forbidden. Young Steve learns a few words of Waodani—"I am your sincere friend"—from Rachel, and ultimately begs his father to learn them before his father and several others land their airplane on a sandbar in the Curaray, and attempt to make peaceful contact with the Waodani, who they know people that area of the forest that surrounds the sandbar.
Mincayani is now a much older and developed warrior, exhibiting not a little leadership in the tribe. After some days, one Waodani man and two women approach the missionaries who have camped on the sandbar, and have a reasonably friendly, if difficult to communicate, first encounter. Subsequently, misinformation about the meeting is shared with the other Waodani tribal members, and a group of Waodani warriors decide to attack and spear the foreigners. They do so, and all five men associated with the airplane at the sandbar camp are killed with spears; the airplane—which the Waodani refer to as the large wood bee—is destroyed with punctures and slashing by spears. Authorities from Ecuador and the US military come up river in canoes in a large party, protected by many rifles, and recover four of the five bodies.
Years later, Steve Saint flies from the US to attend the funeral of Rachel Saint, and comes into contact again with Mincayani. Mincayani asks Steve to live in Ecuador, and become family to the Waodani, like Rachel had. Steve says that would be "impossible;" but does do so a year or so later.
Later, Mincayani tells Steve he needs to show him something, with no other detail, and takes Steve on the Curaray river in a canoe to the sandbar where his father had been killed many years earlier. Mincayani digs furiously in the bank of the river, and uncovers a bit of the metal frame and fabric of Nate's airplane that the Waodani had buried; tells Steve this is where his father died; and that he had speared his father. Mincayani gives Steve his spear, with the point at his own chest, and tells Steve to kill him. Steve struggles emotionally; but does not do so. He tells Mincayani that his father did not lose his life, but he gave his life. It is, as it has been for the Waodani people for some decades now, truly the "end of the spear."
Opening with a modest first weekend (January 20–22, 2006), End of the Spear took 8th place (behind one new and three expanding movies) with US$4.3 million. End of the Spear became one of the few independently released Christian movies to draw more than $1,000,000 in its first three weekends of release. By the time the film left the box office, it had grossed $11,967,000. It has since grossed over $20 million more in rentals and video sales.
Box Office Mojo, which also incorporates user ratings, had nearly 2/3 of viewers give the film an 'A' rating. The film won a Crystal Heart Award as well as the Grand Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2005 Heartland Film Festival.
The DVD and some theaters where the movie was shown also included extra footage after the movie ended showing the real life Mincayani (Mincaye) and the real life Steve Saint in our modern day. Mincaye visited Steve Saint in America with humorous results while trying to understand American culture.
|Chad Allen||Nate Saint/Steve Saint/Narrator|
|Chase Ellison||Young Steve Saint|
|Sean McGowan||Jim Elliot|
|Sara Kathryn Bakker||Rachel Saint|
|Cara Stoner||Marj Saint|
|Beth Bailey||Elisabeth Elliot|
|Stephen Caudill||Ed McCully|
|Matt Lutz||Pete Fleming|
|Jose Liberto Caizamo||Nampa|
|Patrick Zeller||Roger Youderian|
|End of the Spear: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||January 24, 2006|
End of the Spear: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on January 24, 2006 by Word Records. The soundtrack features most of the instrumental score by Ron Owen, plus featured music from the film by known CCM artists like Steven Curtis Chapman and BarlowGirl, among others.
|1.||"No Greater Love"||Steven Curtis Chapman||5:00|
|6.||"You Led Me"||BarlowGirl||3:52|
|7.||"Father and Son"|
|13.||"Flight of the Wood Bee"|
|15.||"Tears in the Sand"|
|18.||"Always Love You"||Nicole C. Mullen||4:03|
|22.||"Mincayani and Dayumae"|
|23.||"I Will Not Kill"|
|25.||"The Way of the Tribe"|
|26.||"Time That Is Left"||Mark Schultz||3:57|
|30.||"God Follower"||Steven Curtis Chapman||4:18|
Some secular critics believed the story may be seen as presenting an uncritical view of a situation where native peoples were eventually exploited regardless of "good intentions" such as concerns[clarification needed] about SIL International.
There was some concern among various Christian groups that lead actor Chad Allen, who portrays aviator missionary Nate Saint in the movie (and his son Steve Saint as an adult), is openly gay. Some Christian groups that had initially planned to promote the film began to question whether they should. The real Steve Saint, who was heavily involved in the production of the film, has stated in interviews that he himself had reservations, but that God indicated to him that Allen was the proper choice. In the end, he couldn't see a better actor filling the role of his father. His public pronouncements did much to quell the controversy.
Other Christian groups (such as VCY America's Vic Eliason) wished the film had more explicitly portrayed the Gospel message (i.e. salvation through Jesus Christ). However, the Gospel presented in the movie is the same as it was presented to the Waodani; in concepts and symbols that are present in everyday Waodani language (with the name of "God" being replaced with "Waengongi", the name of the Waodani creator god who no longer communicated with the people).
Due to the limitations of the movie format, they have had to compress various events and limit the number of characters. As a result, the main Waodani protagonist, Mincayani, is not actually one person in real life but rather a composite of the real-life Waodani named Mincaye and various other Waodanis. Some of Steve's sister's experiences ended up being attributed to Steve in the movie and the dramatic climactic reconciliation between Steve as an adult and Mincayani did not actually happen as depicted in the film – it was more of a slow, growing love and friendship between the real-life Steve and Mincayani.
- In 2007, the album won a Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year at the 38th GMA Dove Awards.
- January 2006 Decision Magazine: For the love of a tribe... Retrieved on June 5, 2007.
- End of the Spear, Rotten Tomatoes
- 29 April 2020: Remembering Mincaye | ITEC. Retrieved on April 30, 2020.
- End of the Spear, Box Office Mojo
- Films, 2005, archived from the original on 2006-02-09, retrieved 2006-02-08
- Heartland Film Festival Concludes Another Record Breaking Year, 2005, archived from the original on 2006-10-03, retrieved 2006-02-08
- Gonzalez, Ed (2005-12-21), "End of the Spear", Slant Magazine, retrieved 2014-07-18
- 26 January 2006: Christian Studio Explains Hiring of Gay Actor. Retrieved on June 5, 2007. Archived May 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Saint, Steve (2005), The End of the Spear, ISBN 0-8423-6439-0
- 18 January 2006: Death Worked Backwards Retrieved on June 5, 2007
- Movie review of End of the Spear by Randy Alcorn Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on June 5, 2007.
- 38th Annual GMA Awards on About.com