Sunday, March 29, 2015

Off to Amish Country

In preparation for my family's spring break in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, we watched a documentary, The Amish: Shunned (2014), and a "reality" series, Amish: Out of Order (2012– ), not to mention the movie Witness (1985) in between.

I was relieved that both the documentary and the series were balanced, and not sensationalistic as I expected them to be. Both focused on the stories of individuals, and in doing so told the universal story of Man's search for meaning, whether it be that of the Amish "old maid" at 23 whom we suspect leaves because she can't find a husband or the "English" girl from a broken home who at 16 desperately wants family.

The series was a bit problematic; producer/director/star Mose Gingerich's scruples at expsoing tthe Amich to publicity by giving a lecture at a university don't come up while making a ten-part "reality" series. Still, introduces us to some interesting and likable characters.

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