Monday, August 14, 2006

Movie Review

End of the Spear (2006). Based on the real-life story of the Saints, the first missionaries to make contact with one of the most violent cultures on record, the Waodani of Ecuador. First contact is bloody, but perseverance and steadfastness allow the second generation of missionaries to become accepted in the tribe, their message to be received, and the culture of the Waodani to be changed.

Dramatic, emotional, a good story well presented and well acted. Both of my thumbs are up.

I have to mention the dust-up relating to casting in the movie that became public just as it was set to be released theatrically. Some Christian leaders advised their flocks to avoid the movie, and there was even a e-mail campaign proposing a boycott of the film.

What a shame. I am in the camp that Christian movie-makers need to seek the best quality scripts, cast, crew, etc . . . and not necessarily limit their pool of talent to evangelical Christians. It's not fair to complain that the world ignores our artistic efforts (music, books, movies) if we don't respect the output enough ourselves to attempt to compete in terms of style and quality. Message can't be an excuse for poor execution.

Christian entertainment intended only for Christians can be schlocky and cheaply-made for all I care -- I partake in some of that myself, I'm not a snob. But if the intent of a work is to reach beyond our enclave, we have to stretch ourselves to make sure the end product exceeds the standards so that it will at least get a listen by the world. Or if we can't do that individually, then we need to support those that try.


Cami said...

Boy do I agree with you here! Shoddy workmanship is un-Christian, no other way to look at it. If somebody isn't good at something, not gifted at it, fine, do something else. But don't make a half-shod movie without being gifted at it, say it's for Christ, and then close one eye at it. God is no respecter of persons; He gifts us all. He will speak through good movies made by those who are currently unbelievers.

I.I. said...

A former pastor of mine was a big fan of using movie clips in his sermons (I specifically remember a sermon based on Tim Allen becoming progressively more Santa-like after "putting on Santa" in The Santa Clause) -- he once said that "truth is truth, no matter where you find it." This concept revolutionized my thinking on the church and the arts.

Certainly having the Holy Spirit dwell inside makes an artist more likely to be able to find express truth, but many non-believing artists who seek "truth" in their work often stumble upon it, or at lease stumble upon a portion of it in their works. I think we as believers are both unwise and prideful when we look solely to the church for artistic representations of truth.

Cami said...


I, for one, have graduated from the thinking that there is Christian and then there is secular. I just see God everywhere. He is ever working and ever wooing all of us. We all need more of Him; to see Him better.

I provide a link to The Eagle and Child at my site, a blog kept by a Presbyterian pastor. I loved his entries in July, 2005, about Harry Potter. Russell reads and comments on everything. I like what your pastor did, too, with the Santa Claus movie.

Keith said...

Gets an Amen from me too.