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Monday, February 13, 2006

No liberal agendas were advanced in the making of this movie

Being a man, I don't generally like to either cry or admit to have been crying. In this case, I will freely admit that tears came to my eyes during a crucial scene in the movie End of the Spear. For those not in the know, End of the Spear is a movie about the five missionaries who went to find the Waodani Tribe in rural Ecuador and were subsequently murdered by them. Yet it is also about the tribe itself, and the families of the murdered missionaries, and the God of those missionaries who would also become the God of the Waodani. It is truly the most powerful movie I have seen in the last year or more, certainly the best I have seen for some time.

Go to see it! The main characters are real, for the story is based on true events. In fact, near the end of the movie a few of the actual people show up in a funeral scene. End of the Spear is a story of love and hate, revenge and forgiveness, gain and loss, courage and fear, ancient traditions and new challenges all wrapped in a wonderful cast and presented as a cinematically pleasing package. It would be hard to imagine anyone but the most hard-hearted who could view this movie without being very glad that they did.

We went to see this movie on a Sunday afternoon and found that several people from our church had also shown up to see it at that time, including the Pastor and his wife. The theatre was perhaps half-full at the most. Some may have been wary of encountering a religious theme but the name of Jesus is never spoken and the story centers around the actions and reactions of the various characters rather than preaching at the audience. The movie is not getting much publicity largely because the film company is not wealthy and also half the proceeds of the movie are being funneled back to benefit people such as the Waodani rather than pay for advertising. But that is only one reason the publicity is minimal.

The publicity for EOTS is minimal because this is exactly the kind of movie that Hollywood hates. It has heart, it has good versus evil, it has men and women facing hard decisions and great challenges. There is no sexual innuendo, no gratuitous nudity or foul language and no cartoonish caricatures of human relationships. No liberal agendas were advanced in the making of this movie.

Hollywood hates traditional American values, preferring to not only make movies such as "Brokeback Mountain" and "Underworld" and promoting them as the best entertainment available. Hollywood loves sex, loves young skinny girls that kick everyone's butt, loves gays and lesbians and loves to present to us the same ridiculous comic stereotypes over and over - the elderly person who makes wildly innapropriate comments, the foul-mouthed child, the hypocritical-but-soon-to-be-skewered church-goer and so on. These are the movies that get free publicity from a multitude of reviews and articles before and during their release cycles.

The two top revenue producers among all movies in the last few months were the latest Harry Potter movie and Narnia. These are the movies that people flocked to see and see again - movies with plots, battles of good versus evil, movies without sex scenes or gallons of gushing blood, movies that were able to appeal to both children and adults. The movies that Hollywood ignores as they reward the Brokebacks and Syriannas with awards and glowing reviews are the movies that the public prefers.

Hollywood wonders why they keep losing their audience. Clue: It isn't because of television so much as the product being presented. Hollywood, you make bad movies! You make plenty of uncouth movies. You make movies that are pornographic by yesterday's standards. You glorify sinful and inappropriate lifestyles. You make the same stupid movies over and over again. Give us variety, give us stories that inspire rather than offend, give us characters we care about and then we will flock back to the theatres in bunches. But keep giving us garbage and your profits will continue to shrink. I think it is that simple.


Mark K. Sprengel said...

One problem with the movie is that some Christian groups are upset that one of the missionaries is played by an actor who also happens to be a gay activist. However, the son of that slain missionary, while initially bothered by that, thought and prayed and concluded that God may have a purpose. If he could reconcile with it, I think the others should as well.

radar said...

Interesting....Somehow that he prayed and then came up with that decision just fits into the character of his entire family. People who seem to be led by the Spirit first, people who let God decide in every instance.