End of the Spear
When five missionaries are killed by a primitive tribe in Ecuador, their surviving families stay on, hoping to win the natives over by being living examples of their faith. Director Jim Hanon (who co-wrote the script with Bill Ewing and Bart Gavigan) retells the story he covered in last year’s documentary Beyond the Gates of Splendor, this time in “fictional” form, with actors and scripted dialogue. It still feels like a documentary, with voiceover narration by Chad Allen (who plays victim Nate Saint and, in 1994, his adult son Steve) telling us things that a more adroit movie would find ways to show. And there are odd lapses, like characters who look exactly the same after aging 38 years. Still, the movie has honest intentions, sincere performances and beautiful photography by Robert Driskell.