March 12, 2016

Movie Review: The Grandfathers

The Grandfathers is a motion-graphics film that primarily depicts the life of Jesse Saint, son of Steve Saint and grandson of Nate Saint.

On January 8, 1965, five Christian missionaries were speared to death by a group of Waodani warriors, while they were trying to evangelize to the Waodani people. These five men were Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian.

After these men were killed, Elisabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint continued to share the Gospel message with the Waodani people, despite that their family members were killed by this same group of people. Later on, Nate Saint’s wife and their children (including Steve Saint) moved to the Ecuadorian jungle to live the Waodani tribe. Eventually, many of the Waodani people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior…including some of the men who killed those five Christian missionaries.

After growing up in Ecuador, Steve moved to the United States. Later on, his family consisted of his wife (Ginny) and four teenage children (Shaun, Jamie, Jesse, and Stephanie). Then, in 1995, Steve decided to move back to the jungle with his family, even though he was the only one familiar with this type of lifestyle. So, the entire family moved from a comfortable life in Florida to the Ecuadorian jungle, where they lived among the Waodani tribe.

Before moving to the jungle, Jesse Saint struggled to understand and relate to his family heritage. Since he wasn’t raised in the jungle with the tribe, like his father, the tales about his father’s and grandfather’s lives seemed very distant to him…until his teenage years, when his family lived with the Waodani tribe. After he experienced life in the Ecuadorian jungle, Jesse started to understand his family history, as well as developed deep friendships with the Waodani tribe members.

The Grandfathers described the Saint family’s experience in the jungle and building relationships with the Waodani tribe members, particularly between Jesse and Mincaye. While living in the jungle as a teenager, Jesse became friends with Mincaye Enquedi, an older Waodani man, and Jesse even began to call him grandfather in the native Waodani language.

Later on, Jesse realized that his Grandfather Mincaye was actually one of the Waodani men who killed his biological grandfather, Nate Saint. However, his Waodani friends, particularly Mincaye, didn’t seem like the same people. Referring to Mincaye, Jesse said, “Even though it was the same man, same hands, it was a different heart.” Previously, spearing each other to death was a way of life for the Waodani tribe, and they were known as a very violent tribe.

Despite their historical background and cultural differences, the Saint family and Waodani tribe still became a family through the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. While the Saint family no longer lives in the jungle, they continue to visit and work with their Waodani friends.

As a motion-graphics film, The Grandfathers is intermixed with video clips, interviews, photos, narration, etc. With a running time of 54 minutes, this non-fiction film was written by Jim Hanon and Jillian Hanon, directed by Jim Hanon, and produced by Mart Green. The central characters include Jesse Saint, Steve Saint, and Mincaye Enquedi, as well some of the Waodani tribe members and more of the Saint family members. 

The Grandfathers is the third film in the trilogy, which includes the documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor, and feature film, End of the Spear [and I highly recommend watching both of these movies, too].

This intriguing film is worth watching, particularly for those interested in missions or those wanting to have a glimpse into life in the jungle. While The Grandfathers is a family friendly film with a PG rating, due to “thematic material and violent content,” the recommended age would be teenagers and older. A movie trailer link is included below.

By the way, I’ve visited Ecuador! Although I’ve not traveled as deep into the jungle as this film depicts. Hope you enjoy watching The Grandfathers!

Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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