“What we do to each other as human beings can be very inhuman. This story explores that on several levels.”
Jesse Saint searches for his identity deep in the Amazon jungle while living among the tribe that murdered his grandfather decades earlier.
“The Grandfathers” is a motion-graphics documentary completing Jim Hanon’s inspiring trilogy that started with “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” and was followed by “End of the Spear.” These films were produced by Mart Green. Jesse struggles to find his place in a world alive with the memories of a famous grandfather he never knew and a heroic father he could not understand.
Years spent living among the Waodani and befriending the three old men who took part in the murder teach him the healing power of dignity, respect and forgiveness. In the jungle, Jesse must confront his family’s past as he determines his own future. This documentary is a moving tribute to a young boy’s quest for significance and wholeness, and its imprint on three old men, who, unwittingly, are on a quest of their own…”
Beyond the Gates of Splendor: The History -
Jesse’s Grandfather, Nathanael “Nate” Saint (August 30, 1923 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelical Christian missionary pilot to Ecuador who, along with four others, was killed while attempting to evangelize the Huaorani people through efforts known as Operation Auca.
Jesse’s father, Steve Saint was born in Quito, Ecuador at a mission hospital. He was the second of Nate and Marj Saint’s three children. He has an older sister, Kathy, and a younger brother, Philip. The family lived in Shell Mera, Ecuador where his father was a missionary pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship. In 1956, his father and four other missionaries were killed by Huaorani Indians during Operation Auca, in an effort to make peaceful contact with them.
After the death of Saint’s father, the family moved to Quito where Saint attended school. It was during this time that his aunt, Rachel Saint, and Elisabeth Elliotsuccessfully made peaceful contact with the Huaorani and were living with them in the jungle. At 10 years of age, Saint first went to live with the Huaorani, staying with them during the summers. He learned about living in the jungle, and also developed relationships with many members of the tribe. In June 1965, “Babae”, as he was called by the tribe, was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father’s killers who had since converted to Christianity.
End Of The Spear -
“Is it possible to forgive those who have taken from you what you most love? Can a people controlled by violence and murder be transformed? Based on the true story of five missionaries killed at the hands of the world’s most violent tribe, End of the Spear proves that sometimes the greatest tragedy can be the catalyst for the most resilient hope. From director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green, this feature film offers a fresh, sometimes raw, cinematic journey deep into the Amazon jungle and even deeper into the human condition. It weaves together the story of a bereaved son and the tribal leader who murdered this young boy’s father. As their lives intersect three decades later, painful revelations force a life-or-death decision. The choices made will heal profound wounds; transform destructive practices, and bring hope for a new life to many.”
Director Jim Hanon on Mincaye, Jesse, and Reconciliation
Jim Hanon on The Grandfathers and Common Humanity