End of the Spear | Chicago Reader

End of the Spear

Set in 1956, this engrossing independent film tells the true story of five American missionaries, led by the aptly named Nate Saint (Chad Allen), who attempted to reform the violent ways of the Waodani, an elusive tribe indigenous to the Ecuadorean rain forest. Highlighting the secular rather than the evangelical aspects of the story, director Jim Hanon and writers Bill Ewing and Bart Gavigan tensely depict the quintet's deadly standoff with the tribesmen, an encounter whose stark brutality ironically permits several of the missionaries' widows access to the tribe. While Hanon's film stints on character development, he convincingly portrays the events that foster redemption and forgiveness, as over time the Waodani shed their culture of violence. Louie Leonardo costars as Mincayani, the proud Waodani leader. PG-13, 112 min.

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