Movie Mom

Movie Mom


End of the Spear

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence.
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Revealing native attire
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Graphic and gory battle violence with spears and arrows, many deaths
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

Can you forgive the unforgiveable?


Fifty years ago, five American missionaries were killed by members of the most violent culture ever studied by anthropologists, the Waodani tribe in Ecuador. The homicide rate was 60 percent. The widows and children and one sister of the murdered men reached out to the Waodanis, helped care for their children, and through the power of their forgiveness and generosity forged a friendship that transformed them all.


The film-makers, who began by making a documentary version of the same story called Beyond the Gates of Splendor, have now made a feature film, with Chad Allen (of television’s “Dr. Quinn”) as both the missionary Nate Saint and his son, Steve, who came back as an adult to live with the Waodanis again. (The real Steve Saint did the stunt flying for his father’s character in the film.)


Even with subtitles, it is a little hard to follow and it sometimes veers into Sunday school-style sugar. But the story has great power and the film-makers resist condescending to the natives. Still, the footage of the real characters over the closing credits is so vivid and engaging that we wish the entire movie had been letting them tell their own story.


Parents should know that the movie is very violent for a PG-13, with many characters murdered or injured. There are some mild sexual references.


Families who see this movie should talk about forgiveness, and what makes it possible or necessary for people to forgive the most devastating injuries. Why didn’t the missionaries try to defend themselves? What could they have done to better protect themselves? Families may also want to talk about the ethical issues that arise in imposing one culture’s ideas about “civilization” on a native population.


Families who appreciate this movie may also enjoy The Gods Must be Crazy. And they will like my interview with Steve Saint about his experiences.



Previous Posts

Believe Me
Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling

posted 11:06:16am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week's "Gone Girl." She's been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It's a good

posted 8:00:23am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Telling Time in "All That Jazz"
One of my favorite writers provides insights into one of my favorite (if flawed) movies -- Matt Zoller Seitz created a beautiful video essay about Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz" for the Criterion Edition, and then they were unable to use it due to rights problems with the movie clips h

posted 3:19:48pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on PBS: The Makers: Comedy
Be sure to tune in to PBS tomorrow night for what is sure to be one of the highlights from one of the all-time best series on PBS: "The Makers," the story of women in America.  Tomorrow's episode is about women in comedy. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHxHMgSF7UI[/youtube]

posted 8:00:45am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on HBO: "The Fifty Year Argument" -- Scorsese on The New York Review of Books
Once upon a time, there was no internet. And instead of bloggers and pundits and tweets we had something called public intellectuals, people who read widely, thought deeply, and wrote long, passionate, carefully reasoned, thoroughly documented and beautifully written articles about the important is

posted 3:59:26pm Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.