The Grandfathers (EthnoGraphic Media), new on DVD, is being billed as the last chapter in a trilogy about the five missionary martyrs—including Jim Elliot and Nate Saint—killed in Ecuador in 1956. The first two chapters, documentary Beyond the Gates of Splendor and feature film End of the Spear, were effective accounts of the story, but this third film adds little to the saga.
Told from the perspective of Jesse Saint—Nate's grandson—The Grandfathers aims to capture the enduring legacy of the martyrs by showing how the second, third, and now fourth generations are continuing to minister with the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador. There's some nice interaction between Jesse and Mincaye, one of the tribesmen who killed the missionaries 55 years ago, and the spirit of forgiveness continues to ring loud and clear in this ongoing saga. Director Jim Hanon brings a visually slick, almost mtv feel to the project, but other than a scene or two, this 54-minute documentary doesn't dig deep and is mostly forgettable.1