Saturday, June 23, 2007

Movie Recommendation: The Last Sin Eater

This movie was a surprise. Typically, most movies with a Christian message tend to come off as baptized copycats of secular themes. However, The Last Sin Eater doesn't even try to follow any secular trends. A community of Welsh immigrants in 1850's Appalachia attempt to hide deep, dark secrets, going all the way back to the colony's original founding.

The title refers to an inherited custom of choosing a beggar or social outcast as a "sin eater", that when a person dies, in exchange for food and drink (incidentally, wine and bread) he would come and "eat" the person's sins so that they could "depart in peace."

A young girl, Cadi, becomes obsessed with the sin eater because of a past sin she deems so horrible that it must be taken away. She goes off on a quest to find this man only to discover that once she finds him and he, having been ostracized from the community and risking ostracism herself, even after "eating" her sins, he offers her no absolution, only more pain.

You can see where this is headed, right?

She soon meets a man of God who preaches by the riverside and he offers her the last sin eater, One who can take away all her sins, assuring her that there are no sins that He cannot eat.

The film has an overt Gospel message, the most clear and comprehensive I have ever heard in a modern film (even the name of Jesus was mentioned, as Savior). In fact, that was the only reason the film was rated PG-13, except possibly for some disturbing dream sequences.

The resolution of the film was gratifying, the whole community allowing the truth of their horrid past to be revealed and absolved. Though the beginning was confusing because of the peculiarity of the "sin eating" custom, Cadi's persistent search piggy-backed me onto the movie. A true, graphic film portrayal of the Gospel and its life-altering message, I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Image courtesy of IMDb.

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