We went to see The Sin Eater this evening. The title made me wonder if it was a science fiction/suspense film, in which case I would not go because those aren't my thing, but my husband checked Plugged In, the media review divison of Focus on the Family, endorsed it, so off we went, and I'm glad we did.
Plot synopsis: In 1850 or so, a Welsh immigrant community settled in the Appalachian Mountains and began a new life. However, they also brought with them the mystic Celtic tradition of the "Sin Eater. "
The Sin Eater, an actual historical role, was one who drew an unlucky lot and became an outcast from the community. Whenever the "passing bell" rang, signalling someone had died, the community would gather at the cemetery with the body. A crust of bread and some wine would be placed on the torso of the corpse, and at the appointed time, people would avert their eyes, and the Sin Eater would arrive, eat and drink the offering, and take upon himself the sin of the deceased so that he could rest in peace. It was an emotional, awe-ful time, wrought with sorrow, as the Sin Eater "pawned" his soul for that of the deceased. This method was the only way people knew to be forgiven of their sins.
Little Cadi (pronouced Kah-dee) Forbes, a girl of about 12, has a horrible sin that she cannot bear to carry until her deathbed, so against severe warnings, she actually seeks out the Sin Eater in hopes that he can deliver her.
In the meantime, a "man of God" enters the cove, and eventually, he brings the plan of salvation to Cadi. In what was the most emotional moment for me, he explains there was a Sin Eater sent from God long ago, who paid for everyone's sins, once and for all. Taking the significance of this truth in, she asks, "Does he have a name?" and he says, "Yes, it's Jesus." I cried for several reasons then. The first was because of how this Good News felt to Kadi. Secondly, because I was newly appreciating what Christ did for us. Third, because the world needs to know that name and its significance.
There is more to consider, including some violence, a few weak spots and old fashioned special effects, so I suggest you read a professional review at Titletrakk.com. There is also a great interview of Francine Rivers who wrote the book upon which the movie is based.
If you liked the TV series Christy, or Little House on the Prairie, you'll love this. In fact, Michael Landon, Jr. produced, directed and co-wrote the screenplay. You can see his dad's fingerprints all over this film, and you can see the Father's fingerprint, too.