From Savage to Saved
Fifty years ago, five men landed a plane in a rainforest in Ecuador. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were trying to befriend one of the most hostile civilizations known to man, the Waodani. After a few days and at least one friendly encounter, all five men were speared to death in their camp. It didn’t take long. A mission which all five men had spent much of their young lives preparing for, either directly or indirectly, was over before it even really started. Or at least it seemed that way. In reality, a completely new adventure was about to begin, one that would be unleashed without them, but one which would transorm the entire cultural paradigm of the tribal village.
What was their purpose? Why would those five men knowlingly risk their lives at the hands of savages? Because they had a message which they were conviced the Waodani people needed to know, a message that would bring forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation.
Nate Saint was one of those men. His son, Steve Saint has helped formulate an independent film, produced by Every Tribe Entertainment, depicting the account from the perspective of the Waodani people, particularly Mincayani, one of the savages who speared the five men to death, and more importantly, the one who later became “Grandfather” to young Steve Saint.
End of the Spear is the name of the film. It tells the story of how the martyrdom of the five missionaries opened the door for future dialogue between the tribespeople and their victim’s surviving families. Consequently, a revival, both spiritual and cultural, swept through the tribe, bringing a new undertanding of peace never before experienced by the Waodani, one which even now, fifty years later, still permeates their tribal community.
The End of the Spear is entering its second full week of release in a limited number of theaters. It’s opening weekend grossed 4.3 million. This past weekend’s sales dropped to 2.5 million.
The film has generated controversy in some circles because the main character, Nate Saint, is played by Chad Allen who is openly homosexual. There are those who will refuse to support the film for that reason. I tend to think that that particular reason for not viewing the film is too near sighted, even too the point of being ironic. The message of the film is that evil can be subdued by good. The actor’s personal lifestyle bears no reflection upon the message which the film promotes. It shouldn’t even be an issue.
In Lynchburg, End of the Spear is playing at Carmike 8 - www.mrmovietimes.com/movie-theaters/Carmike-8-Lynchburg.html