A Trilogy Is Born with the Release of The Grandfathers

The Grandfathers is a “coming of age” story that in combination with Beyond the Gates of Splendor and End of the Spear completes a story for the ages. Recently released in the U.S. and the UK, The Grandfathers is drawing a new generation into a powerful adventure of triumph over tragedy that captured the attention of the world more than a half century ago.

Together these films make up the Walk His Trail trilogy. This name pays tribute to the words of Mincaye, a Waodani tribal elder: “We acted badly, badly until they brought us God’s carvings. Now we walk His trail.” His words encapsulate the taking of human life by the Waodani and then the transformation of lives within the most savage tribe ever recorded.

The main subject of The Grandfathers, Jesse Saint, grandson of Nate Saint, journeys with his father Steve and the rest of his family to live with the Waodani, the very tribe who killed his grandfather many years earlier.

“I remember growing up with a picture in my mind of a beach somewhere and Indians with spears,” recalls Jesse. “I had no context for what it was or where it was. I just remember hearing that grandpa Nate died when Pop [Steve] was five.”

“He [Mincaye] knows that I’m the grandson of this man that he helped to kill,” Jesse continues. “It’s as much of a stretch for him to care for me as it is for me to care for him. He killed my grandpa. But in their culture it’s my responsibility to go back and kill him.”

But far from revenge and retaliation, Jesse and the tribal elders instead experienced the power of forgiveness and reconciliation—so much so that Jesse now refers to the elders as his grandfathers.

Writes Edwin L. Carpenter in his five-dove review for the Dove Foundation, “This is a film which will touch the hearts of viewers everywhere. The message is unmistakably powerful. This is a documentary that needs to be seen as it reveals the changing power of God’s love through the gospels and His Word.”

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