It's not often that a story about missionaries is a major Hollywood release. End of the Spear hits theaters this Friday. I've been looking forward to this for awhile. The release commemorates the 50-year anniversary of a true story. In 1956, five missionaries dared to make contact with the most savage tribe in history, the Waodani, wo live deep in the Amazon basin of Ecuador. After an initial friendly contact their excitement quickly turned to fear, and all five men were killed.
Soon after, a wife of one of the slain men, and a sister of another, went to live with the Waodani. Within two years, the tribal homicide rate dropped more than 90 percent. This story was made famous by LIFE magazine and the book Through The Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot (wife of Jim, one of the slain missionaries).
End of the Spear is the story from the Waodani perspective. My hope is twofold: first, that these kinds of movies aren't used just as evangelistic events, but part of a process. If we can take a friend, or encourage them to go, and have conversation about it after, that's a good thing. Second, I hope the film does well, particularly week one. Many small films like this can take off if they show up in the top 5 or 10, or if word of mouth pushes the momentum. These kinds of stories get God in the conversation. I hope the Christian community will embrace & support these kinds of efforts.
Movie trailer can be seen at www.endofthespear.com
Unfortunately, it is a small movie, and doesn't even show up on many sites "Upcoming Movies" lists. I'm hopeful that its well done and attracts attention, but more importantly, that it makes God famous ( Isaiah 26:8).
Here's an mp3 interview with Steve Saint. His dad was one of the missionaries that was speared. He later developed a close personal relationship with the Waodani that killed his father. Amazing story....Steve is very much involved in the film project, and serves as its off screen narrator.