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The Best of 2006: 'End of the Spear'

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End of the Spear


Although IMDb says it was finished in 2005, End of the Spear didn't get theatrical release till January of 2006. This was a relatively unseen film with no big names in the cast. Films that often get released during the January-February period are usually discarded by studios as the ones they predict for disaster or films no one would find big interest in. A lot of stinkers come out during the very beginning of the year until March. HOWEVER, there is usually one film or two that can dominate this two-month period in tickets or critical acclaim. That would be this film.

Based on a true story, the film probes the parallel accounts of missionaries and a hidden South American Native American tribe and a major culture clash between them. The men of this missionary team are suddenly all killed when one native discovers that one of his tribesmen is having an affair with his own wife and decides to see if he can get him killed in a fight with the Americans. It is then up to the WIVES and the son of the missionary leader to finish the job the men started. Although the film was financed by Christians, the film is VERY BROAD in its spiritual sense and is really a lot more about cultural relativism than anything else.

One criticism one could make is that it seems only Christianity could solve this violence prone tribe (their traditions cause them to keep fighting another tribe nearly to the point of extinction), but the religion of Christianity is rarely mentioned in the film. A very beautifully photographed and well acted film about coming to grips with tradition and trust.