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Capt. Sage's Review of
End of the Spear
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End of the Spear is a remarkable film. It's based on the true story of five missionaries, martyred by natives of the Amazon River in the 1950s. The movie tells the amazing story of forgiveness on an individual and communal level, and portrays all of the characters involved realistically.

The movie depicts some gore, showing us the true ugliness of death, and for that reason is not appropriate for small children. On the other hand, the movie does not glorify the violence at all. Instead, the film shows the murder of the missionaries as an act of evil, the consequences of which are felt by the families of the missionaries as well as the natives who killed the missionaries.

The natives are portrayed perfectly, not as immoral beasts but as human beings who have locked themselves into a worldview in which killing is the only way to get ahead. The movie accurately shows us their struggle to survive, and the difficulty of dealing with neighbors whom one regularly spears. It also shows the changes that occur in the native's lives without making us feel that the natives have lost their roots or become white people. Instead, we are shown that they learn how to forgive their enemies, and their enemies learn to forgive them- even the families of the missionaries whom they killed.

The scenery is intensely beautiful, showing us a side of the rain forest that we rarely see even in nature documentaries, the simple beauty of a beach and tropical trees. There's also excellent footage of airplanes, showing us the initial contacts between the missionaries and the natives. The music is an unobtrusive commentator upon the most emotional moments of the film. There is only one computer generated effect, used at the end of the film; otherwise, everything appears to be real. The other technical aspects, such as light, costumes, and camera movements, show us the utter naturalness of the setting, and at the end of the film show us how the natives integrate Western clothing into their lives while still remaining their own people.

The acting was excellent, showing us normal people who are called to do extraordinary things, and to live and love in ways they never expected to have to do. The missionaries are garbed in the costume of the times, and the actors portraying the natives speak in their language with English subtitles. This made the initial contacts between the missionaries and natives tense, and gave the film an additional degree of realism.

"End of the Spear" doesn't devolve into melodrama or create the usual tale of white oppressors bringing progress where it didn't belong. Instead, through its respect for its subject matter, it allows us to understand people completely different from us. By truly portraying the cultures and worldviews of everyone involved, the film offers an inspirational example of how people, uncivilized and civilized, murderers and missionaries, can be changed for the better.