Just as the boys have eagerly awaited the release of Spiderman 3, I have been counting the months and days until The Last Sin Eater finally came out on DVD. I tried to see this movie in the theater, but it only ran a week, and I didn’t get the chance to go until the second week after it was released. I was DYING to see it, since I had read the book and really loved it.
The story is a wonderful account of a young girls battle with guilt. Living in the Appalachian Mountains, isolated from much of the rest of the world, the Welsh immigrants in her community have carried on a tradition brought with them from Wales when they emigrated. Having a strong understanding of sin and guilt, they follow a twisted tradition based on Holy Communion and the use of a scapegoat who takes the guilt of their sins after they die. Chosen from among them, the Sin Eater is an outcast, yet he plays an important role in the community, absolving those deceased of their sins by taking them on himself. But when young Cadi Forbes struggles with guilt over her sisters death, she longs for the Sin Eater to take her sins immediately so she won’t have to live her life with them. What will happen if the Sin Eater is unsuccessful? How can she ever be free of her burdens?
The movie did not disappoint me. In fact, it was one of the best adaptations of a book I’ve seen in a long time. I couldn’t even tell you off the top of my head what they changed. The acting was superb. No big names, but I thought that kept the characters from being overshadowed by the actors playing them. The message of faith and redemption is strong in this movie, which I loved. There is nothing inappropriate, perhaps a few intense moments and some implied violence, but I let the boys watch it with me. There is also a great scene that reinforces the idea of boys being the protectors of girls, and all the children are respectful of their elders, even when it is undeserved. I applaud director Michael Landon, Jr. and Fox Faith Films for producing such a wholesome movie. Next time, keep it in the theaters a little longer.