End of the Spear

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End of the Spear
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter R de vries
Produced byWilliam Bowling
Bill Ewing
Screenplay byBill Ewing
Bart Gavigan
Jim Hanon
StarringLouie Leonardo
Chad Allen
Jack Guzman
Chase Ellison
Christina Souza
Sean McGowan
Beth Bailey
Music byJos Breg
Distributed byRocky Mountain Pictures
Release date
  • December 2, 2005 (2005-12-02) (Los Angeles)
  • January 20, 2006 (2006-01-20) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes
Budget$9.6 million
Box office$11,967,000

End of the Spear is a 2005 American drama film that recounts the story of Operation Auca, in which five American Christian missionaries attempted to evangelize the Huaorani (Waodani) people of the tropical rain forest of Eastern Ecuador. Based on actual events from 1956 in which five male missionaries were speared by a group of the Waodani tribe, the movie tells the story from the perspective of Steve Saint (the son of Nate Saint, one of the missionaries killed in the encounter), and Mincayani, one of the tribesmen who took part in the attack.[1][2] The two eventually form a bond that continues to this day.[3]


Some secular critics believed the story may be seen as presenting an uncritical view of a situation where native peoples were eventually exploited regardless of "good intentions"[4] such as concerns about SIL International.

There was some concern among various Christian groups that lead actor Chad Allen, who portrays aviator missionary Nate Saint in the movie (and his son Steve Saint as an adult), is openly gay. Some Christian groups that had initially planned to promote the film began to question whether they should. The real Steve Saint, who was heavily involved in the production of the film, has stated in interviews that he himself had reservations, but that God indicated to him that Allen was the proper choice. In the end, he couldn't see a better actor filling the role of his father. His public pronouncements did much to quell the controversy.[5]

Other Christian groups (such as VCY America's Vic Eliason) wished the film had more explicitly portrayed the Gospel message (i.e. salvation through Jesus Christ). However, the Gospel presented in the movie is the same as it was presented to the Waodani; in concepts and symbols that are present in everyday Waodani language (with the name of "God" being replaced with "Waengongi", the name of the Waodani creator god who no longer communicated with the people).[6]

Due to the limitations of the movie format, they have had to compress various events and limit the number of characters. As a result, the main Waodani protagonist, Mincayani, is not actually one person in real life but rather a composite of the real-life Waodani named Mincaye and various other Waodanis. Some of Steve’s sister’s experiences ended up being attributed to Steve in the movie and the dramatic climactic reconciliation between Steve as an adult and Mincayani did not actually happen as depicted in the film – it was more of a slow, growing love and friendship between the real-life Steve and Mincayani.[1][3][7][8]

Box office[edit]

Opening with a modest first weekend (January 20–22, 2006), End of the Spear took 8th place (behind one new and three expanding movies) with $4.3 million USD. End of the Spear became one of the few independently released Christian movies to draw more than $1,000,000 in its first three weekends of release. By the time the film left the box office, it had grossed $11,967,000. It has since grossed over $20 million more in rentals and video sales.

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes Meter, an average of critics' ratings, as of October 24, 2014, has given the movie 40%; 21 positive, 32 negative reviews (avg. rating: 5.2/10).[2]

Box Office Mojo, which also incorporates user ratings, had nearly 2/3 of viewers give the film an 'A' rating.[9] The film won a Crystal Heart Award[10] as well as the Grand Prize for Best Dramatic Feature[11] at the 2005 Heartland Film Festival.

Extra footage[edit]

The DVD and some theaters where the movie was shown also included extra footage after the movie ended showing the real life Mincayani (Mincaye) and the real life Steve Saint in our modern day. Mincaye visited Steve Saint in America with humorous results while trying to understand American culture.


Louie Leonardo Mincayani
Chad Allen Nate Saint/Steve Saint/Narrator
Jack Guzman Kimo
Christina Souza Dayumae
Chase Ellison Young Steve Saint
Sean McGowan Jim Elliot
Sara Kathryn Bakker Rachel Saint
Cara Stoner Marj Saint
Beth Bailey Elisabeth Elliot
Stephen Caudill Ed McCully
Matt Lutz Pete Fleming
Chemo Mepaquito Gikita
Gil Birmingham Moipa
Jose Liberto Caizamo Nampa
Patrick Zeller Roger Youderian
Madgalena Condoba Akawo


End of the Spear: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJanuary 24, 2006 (2006-01-24)
LabelWord Records

End of the Spear: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on January 24, 2006 by Word Records. The soundtrack features most of the instrumental score by Ron Owen, plus featured music from the film by known CCM artists like Steven Curtis Chapman and BarlowGirl, among others.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitlePerformed byLength
1."No Greater Love"Steven Curtis Chapman5:00
2."River Requiem"  
3."Darkness Falls"  
6."You Led Me"BarlowGirl3:52
7."Father and Son"  
9."Jaguar Hunt"  
12."Amazon Heights"  
13."Flight of the Wood Bee"  
15."Tears in the Sand"  
18."Always Love You"Nicole C. Mullen4:03
20."Moving On"  
22."Mincayani and Dayumae"  
23."I Will Not Kill"  
24."First Meeting"  
25."The Way of the Tribe"  
26."Time That Is Left"Mark Schultz3:57
28."She's Gone"  
29."Rachel's Funeral"  
30."God Follower"Steven Curtis Chapman4:18


In 2007, the album won a Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year at the 38th GMA Dove Awards.[12]


  1. ^ a b January 2006 Decision Magazine: For the love of a tribe... Retrieved on June 5, 2007.
  2. ^ a b End of the Spear, Rotten Tomatoes
  3. ^ a b 20 January 2006 Washington Post: Friendship: An Incredible Act of Forgiveness. Retrieved on June 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (2005-12-21), End of the Spear, Slant Magazine, retrieved 2014-07-18
  5. ^ 26 January 2006: Christian Studio Explains Hiring of Gay Actor. Retrieved on June 5, 2007. Archived May 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Saint, Steve (2005), The End of the Spear, ISBN 0-8423-6439-0
  7. ^ 18 January 2006: Death Worked Backwards Retrieved on June 5, 2007
  8. ^ Movie review of End of the Spear by Randy Alcorn Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on June 5, 2007.
  9. ^ End of the Spear, Box Office Mojo
  10. ^ Films, 2005, archived from the original on 2006-02-09, retrieved 2006-02-08
  11. ^ Heartland Film Festival Concludes Another Record Breaking Year, 2005, archived from the original on 2006-10-03, retrieved 2006-02-08
  12. ^ 38th Annual GMA Awards on About.com

External links[edit]