Sunday, February 05, 2006

End of the Spear, a superb film, don't miss it.

Yesterday I saw "End of the Spear" which is a simply brilliant film about the complexity of life, the clash of cultures, the heroic passion of missionaries, and more. I don't think I've ever seen a film that dealt as honestly with the portrayal of a very violent native culture, the Waodani of Ecuador.

This is no "Dances with Wolves" and is inappropriate for a sensitive child - there are several disturbing (though not all that graphically violent) scenes of brutal spearings and machete killings as the Waodani and another tribe engage in the cycle of violence that brings them to the brink of extinction.

Like "Black Robe", another brilliant culture conflict masterpiece, this film chooses to honestly portray the disturbing brutal violence that characterized some aspects of native American life rather than censoring those things offensive to our modern sets of sensibilities.

I'm not a religious person but I find the courage of missionaries inspiring as they brave many hardships and dangers to bring their vision to others. In one of this film's many great moments the son and narrator of the film asks his father if he'll defend himself if attacked after first contact with the tribe. "We can't shoot the Waodani" says the father, because they are not yet ready for heaven and we are. Later this choice must be made and the missionaries stay true to their faith.

The film is based on a true story about the Waodani people of Ecuador and their intersection with two generations of missionaries.

There's also documentary about the real people in the film called "Beyond the Gates" I have yet to see.

JoeDuck's Blog

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