Posted in movie reviews

Movie Monday – End of the Spear – 11/21/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s Movie Monday movie is End of the Spear

Before I launch into my review of this wonderful movie, please be aware that this movie is not for children. Rather, this movie is for teenagers and older due to violence and some frightening themes.

That said, End of the Spear is, in my opinion, one of the best movies. A group of missionaries embark on a missions trip to a remote part of Ecuador to teach the Waodini tribe that there is more to life than the constant killing amongst tribes, which has taken place for generations. Their tribe is nearly becoming extinct and they think nothing of brutally killing each other.

The missionaries risk their lives to share the profound truth of the sacrifice one Father made so all of His children could have eternal life. Among the missionary group are members Nate Saint and Jim Elliot.

One of the most touching lines in the movie is when Steve Saint, the son of one of the missionaries, Nate Saint, asks his dad if they will use their guns if the Waodani attack them. Nate gently tells his son that they won’t be using their guns because the Waodani aren’t ready for heaven yet.

Nate Saint and the rest of the group were brutally killed by the Waodani tribe. Later, Steve, his mother, and several other missionaries live with the Waodani and it is then that God begins to soften the hearts of those in the tribe, one person at a time. Later, we see the Gospel written in the Waodani language.

As I watched this movie, I was reminded of all of our missionaries all over the world who risk their lives to share the Gospel. Theirs is a sacrifice that we oftentimes forget, but must make an effort to remember. Through their sacrifice, they teach others of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Breathtaking scenery, vivid Gospel parallels, and a strong theme of forgiveness make End of the Spear a movie I won’t soon forget.  Highly recommended for those ages 13 and older.


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

12 thoughts on “Movie Monday – End of the Spear – 11/21/11

  1. This is an awesome movie!!! We also heard Nate Saint’s son, Steve, speak to a group of college students at CIU, a few years ago. Powerful words and testimony to his father’s life of service, as well the others who were killed.

    Have you seen Beyond the Gates of Splendor? Another excellent movie, documentary style 🙂

  2. This movie is one of my favorites. It’s rare to see such a high-quality “Hollywood” movie cover such a topic. Another reason I love it is I had the opportunity years ago, in 2001, to go on a short-term mission trip to Ecuador.

    We spent the summer in the mountains but had the chance for a sight-seeing trip to Shell. We actually got to explore the house where Steve Saint & his parents lived, see the radio in the kitchen where the wives gathered waiting for the check-in that never happened. We went across the street to the mission air-strip where to this day emergency-relief planes are on stand-by to head into the jungle. And most amazing of all, on our last day, literally as we were standing outside the airport, Steve Saint came to see us off. With him was George – the baby from the movie whose mother escaped with him to prevent his being buried alive with his dead father. George had a blow-dart-gun like they use in the movie and gave a demonstration, even allowing some of the teens to give it a try.

    So this movie was almost like getting to share with my family a piece of what I got to experience, too.

  3. Penny

    From all of us at EGM Films, let me say ‘thank you’ for such a thoughtful review of our film. May I also recommend “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” and “The Grandfathers.” Together with “End of the Spear,” this trilogy more fully explores themes such as ultimate sacrifice, incredible forgiveness, and lasting transformation.


    Bill Oechsler, President
    EthnoGraphic Media

    1. Thank you, Bill, for stopping by my blog. I am honored that you left a comment! “End of the Spear” was fantastic and I was thrilled to be able to spread the word about this film. I look forward to seeing “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” (which we also purchased) and also “The Grandfathers” (which I had not yet heard about). Have a blessed week!

  4. An interesting footnote to your review: The indigenous people portraying the Waorani in the movie are in real life Northern Embera people, from Panama and Colombia. The film was shot in Panama and the language you hear them speaking is Northern Embera. This past August the Embera people received a newly revised translation of the Bible (all of the New Testament and 25% of the Old Testament) in their own language at a special dedication ceremony in Panama. It is now being distributed in Panama and we pray on into Colombia. Those who acted in the movie were deeply moved by the story and by getting to meet a number of the Waoranis they portrayed. A very special experience!

    1. Helga, this is absolutely fascinating! Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to stop by and share this with my readers. I was especially encouraged about the special ceremony and the Bible given to them that was translated into their language. Awesome!

      Have a Christ-filled day and thank you again for stopping by!

      1. The most amazing part of the filming of End of the Spear was a special preview of the movie, before all the final editing was done, held for everyone involved in the filming. Present were all the actors, many family members of the original 5 missionaries, including Steve Saint and 2 of the widows, and a number of the Waoranis involved in the original story. The love and forgiveness and joy in the room was palpable. Actually getting to meet Mincaye and Dayuma and Kimo and the others brought many to tears. It’s powerful stuff to see God’s grace and forgiveness alive in people.

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