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American Experience: The Amish


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American Experience: The Amish + American Experience: Amish - Shunned + Amish Grace
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Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Directors: David Belton, Callie T. Wiser
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00652U6JM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,320 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The Amish intercuts historical analysis with contemporary footage to provide an unprecedented look at this highly private, little understood, and utterly unique community whose beliefs raise important questions about religious liberty in American life.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
This was a nice documentary of THE AMISH, showing us their way of life.
KATELAND
The landscape is absolutely stunning and the photography showed it extremely well.
Edith Biggar
The quality of the image and sound of this Bluray disc just drives it home.
U. Foster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on February 28, 2012
Format: DVD
The Amish are such an iconic part of rural America these days that it will startle viewers of this amazing two-hour documentary to learn: Just half a century ago, hundreds of Amish parents were jailed as criminals for refusing to keep their children in school past the 8th Grade. Eventually, a U.S. Supreme Court decision freed the Amish to maintain their own culture, including foreshortened education for Amish youth.

Flash forward to 2006 when the Amish response to a mass shooting of children at their West Nickel Mines school suddenly transformed them from quaint emblems of farming life--into globally celebrated saints of peacemaking. As a journalist covering religion in America for several decades, I wrote news stories about Nickel Mines. And, I have published interviews with the leading non-Amish authority on Amish life, the scholar and author Dr. Donald Kraybill. I also strongly recommend, The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World, written by Kraybill and his colleagues in the aftermath of Nickel Mines. Now, in this American Experience film, Kraybill again speaks to the world about the Amish.

Of course, viewers immediately will realize one huge contribution of this film is that Kraybill is not the only voice we hear. Other scholars were interviewed, as well, and most of the voices we hear from start to finish are the Amish themselves--men and women.

That phrase--"the truth isn't plain or simple"--was used by American Experience to describe the scope of this film. As a journalist specializing in religion coverage for decades, I have screened pretty much every documentary about the Amish produced in the past 30 years.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bob B on February 28, 2012
Format: DVD
I just got done watching this on PBS. Very well done and the most in depth Amish documentary I have ever seen. The minute the program was over I went scrambling on the internet to find out if it was available on video. Looks like tonight was the DVD release date. I'm in luck! Anyways, highly recommended. If you want to learn about the Amish, their lives in both a historical and religious view, both past and present, this is your movie. Very sad though was reliving the nightmare of the 2006 Amish school children murders. Feels like it just happened yesterday!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By KATELAND on May 22, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
VERY ENJOYABLE....Looking at the Amish people there was something very different about them, maybe it was how they dressed, they looked apart from everyone eles. But they dressed very nice, seemed to be deeply religious people. and hard working. And i was amazed with their FORGIVNESS, by attending the funeral of the Murderer who slaughted five of their children. These people interest me, they lived in a very rural part of the country. Everything looked beautiful, and Especialy in FALL when the leaves on the trees were glowing in many beautiful colors. The Amish people looked healthy, due to them being Farmers had alot to do with it, with that healthy outdoor life. It certainly looked to be good air out that way. I think its somewhat of a pity as the children grow up, to leave the community for the bright lights, and a new life. As the number of Amish people will become less. This was a nice documentary of THE AMISH, showing us their way of life. The photography was excellent, we see the beautiful countryside where they lived, and all of their animals, they were mainly horses and cows. Although i thought the animals did it tough in the WINTER, they looked very bleak and lonely out there in the fields as it snowed. A cover would have helped protect them from the cold. A Shame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By doorknob on January 18, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You get a good feel for what it must be like to live as Amish. Very touching at times. It makes you question what's really important in your own life and if you're really living it right,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By carmell137 on November 17, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a very well done documentary about the Amish, their background, and the struggle they face maintaining their beliefs and way of life in our ever changing society. I highly recomend it to anyone interested in having some general knowledge about the Amish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Edith Biggar on June 30, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Before writing this review, I read all four of the reviews already submitted and I agree with those reviewers. It was a well balanced program, divided into approximately equal length segments, each entitled for one of the four seasons. I have been intrigued by these people for quite a long time. Can't say why exactly. The landscape is absolutely stunning and the photography showed it extremely well. There is heartbreak in everybody's stories and two heartbreaks in this story were the two folks who chose to leave the Amish and the Nickle Mines tragedy. I do wonder if, after going through Rumspringer (?sp), if a young adult decides not to join the Amish faith, is it still as difficult for the person leaving? In one part of the film, the comment was made "the boy's place at table is always set and nobody else can sit in that place." And, why do they gather only every other Sunday for community worship? That ehy have morning devotions every day with just the family there is wonderful.

For fictional movies about the Amish, I recommend "Plain Truth" and "Amish Grace". "Amish Grace" is based on the Nickle Mines tragedy. "Plain Truth" is a story in which a young Amish woman is granted some visitation in Philadelphia with her brother who has left the Church, becomes pregnant and the baby dies. Mariska Hagerty, from "Law & Order, Special Victims Unit" plays the part of the court-appointed attorney for the young woman. Even tho they are fictitious, there is a lot of truth in these stories.

American Experience has done several documentaries that I have in my video library and all are absolutely superb and deserve to be viewed several times.Plain TruthAmish Grace
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