"HE WAS MY EVERYTHING"
Michael Landon, Jr. is following in the footsteps of his famous late father, Michael Landon, who died at the age of 54 in 1991. Michael worshipped his father. When he was 15, Michael’s parents divorced – an agonizing ordeal, which sent Michael into a rebellious tailspin for four years before becoming a Christian. He experimented with alcohol and marijuana. His mother, Lynn, was also devastated by the divorce. Lynn befriended her manicurist, Lois, who was a Christian. Louise took Lynn to church where she gave her life to the Lord. Michael was at USC and even though his mother invited him, Michael, then 18, didn’t want anything to do with church. Then just to get her off his back, Michael went to church with his mother. The message impacted him but he never went back to church again. Michael got kicked out of USC and finally went back to church but resisted giving his life over. Finally at 19, Michael stopped fighting and gave his life to Jesus.
Today Michael has been married for 19 years and is the father of three children. In 1999, Michael made a film about his dad to put in perspective what he and his siblings were going through about his parents’ divorce. Michael is proud of his father’s work but he says there is a painful reality that they experienced as a family. Michael says that divorce is absolutely brutal and he is extremely protective of his marriage and family. Michael says he wants to honor God by being faithful to his wife and children (Ashley, 15; Brittany, 12; and Austin, 8).
FAMILY FRIENDLY FILMS
Having grown up on the set of many television shows and movies, Michael has been involved in every aspect of filmmaking -- from producing to directing. But directing films is what pulls on the strings of Michael’s heart. He has been involved in numerous family-friendly Hallmark films, including the Love Comes Softly series. Michael says that the Christian filmmaking community sometimes gets heavy handed in getting the faith element across. “If you allow your characters to live out their faith in their lives, that speaks for itself,” he says.
The Last Sin Eater, co-produced, co-written and directed by Michael, is based on the award-winning novel by Francine Rivers. The story, set in a community in the Appalachians, is about the journey of a 10-year old girl, Cadi, who witnesses a mysterious man, the Sin Eater, absolve her dead grandmother's sins by eating bread and drinking wine at her gravesite. Driven to find the truth, Cadi seeks out the man who can forgive her and save her soul while she is still alive. The movie plays in theaters on February 9, 2007.
The ritual of the sin eater was common in many parts of Wales and Scotland in the 17th and 18th centuries. Each village had its own official sin eater to whom notice was given as soon as a death occurred. The sin eater would go to the house and a crust of bread and cup of ale or wine were handed to him. After he ate and drank, the sin eater would pronounce the ease and rest of the dead person, for whom he pawned his own soul. The biblical scripture that has been distorted where sin eating is supposed to be derived is from Leviticus 14: 20 & 21: "And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. So the priest shall make atonement for him and he shall be clean. And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Afterward he shall kill the burnt offering."
For more information and movie trailers, please visit www.foxfaithmovies.com.
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