The Last Sin Eater (2007)

Rated PG-13. Our ratings: V-2; L-0 ; S/N-1 Running time: Not avail. (under 2 hours)

For while we were still weak, at the right time
Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will
anyone die for a righteous person—though
perhaps for a good person someone might
actually dare to die. But God proves his love
for us in that while we still were sinners Christ
died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

Set in 1850s Appalachia, this Fox Faith film could be viewed as a parable of liberation from bondage. Ten year-old Cadi Forbes (Liana Liberato) and her neighbors are in bondage to a belief that they must resort to a “Sin Eater” in order to find absolution, this belief being a carryover from their ancestors in Wales. Cadi attends a graveside service for her deceased grandmother in which a strange man eats bread and wine, thus absolving the dead woman of all her sins. The tormented Cadi decides that she wants to be freed from her sins while she is still alive.

The Last Sin Eater

It takes a long time before we learn what troubles Cadi’s mind and soul, that she thinks that she is responsible for the death of her sister. Befriended by the itinerant Man of God (Henry Thomas), whose preaching of a God of love is opposed by some of the men, Cadi sets forth to locate the Sin Eater (Peter Wingfield) in order to receive forgiveness and thus peace of soul. It turns out that the Sin Eater also needs freeing, and a secret in the Forbes family is uncovered that could tear her family apart. The conflict this arouses leads both to tragedy and triumph, and eventually the revelation of a gospel of love and redemption. The film, adapted from the novel by Francine Rivers, and directed by Michael Landon, Jr., is the best of the Fox Faith films thus far, and will be enjoyed especially by young members of the family.

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