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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Last Sin Eater

Liana Liberato plays Cadi Forbes, a 10-year-old child who is trying to find a Sin Eater to absolve her of her sins in the Fox Faith film The Last Sin Eater, based on the novel by Francine Rivers.  Photo courtesy Fox Faith
Liana Liberato plays Cadi Forbes, a 10-year-old child who is trying to find a Sin Eater to absolve her of her sins in the Fox Faith film The Last Sin Eater, based on the novel by Francine Rivers. Photo courtesy Fox Faith

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Liana Liberato plays Cadi Forbes, a 10-year-old child who is trying to find a Sin Eater to absolve her of her sins in the Fox Faith film The Last Sin Eater, based on the novel by Francine Rivers.  Photo courtesy Fox Faith
Liana Liberato plays Cadi Forbes, a 10-year-old child who is trying to find a Sin Eater to absolve her of her sins in the Fox Faith film The Last Sin Eater, based on the novel by Francine Rivers. Photo courtesy Fox Faith

The concept of a sin eater is the central plot point in Michael Landon Jr.’s The Last Sin Eater. In Bertram S. Puckle’s Funeral Customs, he explains a sin eater would consume the sins of the dead. A loaf of bread and ale would be eaten by this scapegoat who would then be given money for his burden. This man was unclean and cast out of society.

Leviticus 16:22 states, “The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.” This practice of sin eating was performed mainly in England and Wales.

The Last Sin Eater is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Francine Rivers.

Cadi Forbes, a 10-year-old child in Appalachia in the 1850s, believes she had a direct hand in her sister’s death. After her grandmother dies, Cadi witnesses the ritual of the sin eater and decides that she has to find this outcast so he can absolve her sins while she is still alive.

The Last Sin Eater is one of the first films to be placed on the faith-based label, Fox Faith. Part of the 20th Century Fox family, Fox Faith is a distribution label. It strives to house movies that accommodate the Christian lifestyle.

This film does just that, stresses its Christian standpoint in almost every frame as Cadi; her comrade, Fagan; and an imaginary girl, Lilybet, scour the mountainside looking for the sin eater. In their travels, they come across a stranger preaching the Bible.

As they learn about the contents of the Bible and about Jesus being the only true sin eater, the children decide to free the sin eater of his burden of living alone. Cadi and Fagan stand up for this stranger as the town folk try to cast him out, and the whole town learns a deep dark secret about the founders of the village.

The Last Sin Eater
 is chock-full of religious messages that muddle the already weak plot.

The acting is mostly sub-par though Louise Fletcher of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest does add a little to the story as Miz Elda, the village elder. Henry Thomas (E.T.’s Elliot), as the stranger, provides one of the better performances in the film.

One of the best aspects of the movie is the beautiful scenery. Filmed in Utah, the movie shows the mountainside with a portrait-like quality. I enjoyed that more than the actual story line.

I give this film two and a half stars out of five.

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