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Friday, March 07, 2008

Beyond the Gates of Splendor, part 2

Yesterday, I posted on Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a documentary film telling the story of the killing of five US missionaries in Ecuador in 1956. I have now seen the rest of the film, and the last half was better than the first. (It's not a two-part film -- I just didn't have time to see it all at once.) The End of the Spear was released later, and is a dramatization of the same events. It has the same director as this documentary. The documentary relies heavily on eye-witness testimony by participants, and also on graphic material, including some home movies, from the 50s.

The second half tells more of how Elisabeth Elliot (who has since re-married) and Rachel Saint, wife and sister of two of the murdered missionaries, went to serve the Waodani people. Elliot's service was for a couple of years, but Saint was there for a long time. She worked on translation and Bible teaching. Elisabeth Elliot, in an interview, tells how Saint prepared a woman to preach to the people every Sunday. (Saint is dead.) Elliot took her small daughter with her, and she was, basically, a Waodani kid.

Steve Saint, son of Nate Saint, also spent years with the Waodani. Many things that only God could have done are shown in the film. Steve Saint's son, who had lost one of his grandfathers, developed a grandson-grandfather relationship with one of his grandfather's killers.

The son of the Waodani man who lied about the missionaries, leading to the attack on them,
became a missionary pilot himself, although within his own culture.

I found the interviews with the Waodani, including some who participated in the murder, to be the most interesting part of the film. (There are English subtitles.) They are great actors, they understand that they have come out of great darkness, and they show us, through their eyes, some things about North American mainstream culture that aren't pleasant to see. They are also funny -- natural comedians.

Thanks for reading. I'm glad that I checked this out of our local library. It is still for sale, apparently.


Bonnie said...

I watched the documentary with my children back when End of the Spear came out and found it very educational and very moving.

Martin LaBar said...


Thanks, Bonnie.

grunthor said...

Hi there,

Please allow me to introduce myself...I am Ramesh Ganeshan writing in from Mumbai, India. I have always (well, at least for as long as I can remember) been interested in cultures and religions existing/ have existed on this planet over time.
In my quest for understanding the origins of mankind and the existing similarities across different cultures and religions, I have encountered several lingua-cultural overlaps across various countries that I have visited.

I had seen the movie "The End of the Spear" a few months ago and was moved by it, so much that I had to have a look at "Beyond the Gates of Splendor". Since we do not really get such rarities in India commercially, I had to pick off a rip from the Internet.

Problem: I have the movie, downloaded finally, over 2-3 months due to lack of seeders, but am unable to enjoy it fully.

Case in point: I do not have the subtitles for the movie and I cannot understand the non-English parts. :-(
You can say, it's like having the pyramids at the doorstep but unable to step out of your own yard.

Can anyone help? Please? (I'm posting similar requests on other sites/blogs for help). The only available subs are in Spanish/Finnish/Swedish.

Martin LaBar said...

Sorry. I don't have the subtitles.

grunthor said...

Ohhh. But thank you anyway Sir. It doesn't hurt to ask right?


Cheap Tap said...
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