10-year-old Cadi feels responsible for her little sister's death, so she searches out the one man she feels can take away her sin: The Sin Eater. But in her quest for redemption, Cadi uncovers a secret that threatens to divide her family and community in this heartwarming, inspirational tale for the entire family. Based on the novel by best-selling author Francine Rivers.
Part of the new wave of Christian filmmaking, The Last Sin Eater
appeals to a broader family audience as well--and perhaps film lovers seeking, simply, more soul in their cinema. The film, directed by Michael Landon Jr., has more than a bit of homage to Little House on the Prairie
as its story unfolds through the eyes of its young heroine, Cadi, a Welsh immigrant whose family has settled deep in Appalachia, bringing superstitions and rites from the Old World and melding them with those from the new. Cadi is played by Liana Liberato with gravitas and knowingness that evokes the young Anna Paquin. Cadi's turmoil begins at the deeply disturbing nighttime funeral for her beloved Granny, when a shadowy figure creeps in and chants, "For your earthly sins, woman, I pawn my own soul!" Cadi, warned her own soul would be in peril if she looked upon the sin eater, can't help turn around and lock eyes with the wretched man. And so begins Cadi's own journey of the soul. As tragedy and evil plague the plucky settlement, Cadi is driven to understand her own life and religious choices. "Would I have to live to be Granny's age to be forgiven for my sins?" a bleakly discouraged Cadi wonders in a voiceover. The costumes are sumptuous (perhaps a bit too much so for such a hardscrabble existence in the 1850s), as is the lovely but unforgiving landscape. Cadi's journey is rewarding, yet not at all predictably so. Terrific supporting appearances by Henry Thomas and Louise Fletcher flesh out a very moving tale. Extras include some deleted scenes, and some cool behind-the-scenes footage. --A.T. Hurley