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Beverly Lewis' the Shunning
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Katie Lapp (Danielle Panabaker) has always struggled with the rules that define her sheltered Amish community, but when a wealthy outsider (Sherry Stringfield, TV’s ER) begins asking questions about her family, Katie begins to wonder about her origins. What connection does this woman have to her life…and how will the unraveling secrets challenge Katie’s faith? Beverly Lewis’ The Shunning is a powerful, personal journey of discovery based on the famous novel by the New York Times bestselling author.
Author Beverly Lewis has made a lucrative career out of writing immersive novels about love and life in Amish country, near where she grew up in Pennsylvania. The Shunning, a TV film adaptation of one of Lewis's bestsellers, is a lovely, and loving, look at a different way of life--and how love and loyalty can tear at one's heart no matter where she lives, or comes from. Danielle Panabaker is dewy-cheeked and earnest as Katie, and recalls the young Kelly McGillis, who also played a young Amish woman in Witness. Young Katie, a devout Amish woman of 20, has always felt pulled in different directions despite her immersion in her small town's insular ways. She secretly sings "English" (non-Amish) songs and hides her beloved, and forbidden, guitar from her strict but loving parents. As The Shunning opens, Katie is set to wed the most eligible bachelor in her community--the new bishop. Yet Katie's heart hasn't gotten over her first love, Daniel (the adorable David Topp, seen in flashbacks). Daniel is presumed to have drowned three years earlier, yet his body was never found, which tugs at Katie's heart. If Daniel could still be alive, how can she truly give her heart to another? Then a real curveball lands in the small community. Sherry Stringfield (ER) plays Laura, a big-city woman on a mission to clear up some long-buried details from her own past. And to say that she's not welcome in the tight-knit Amish community is an understatement. Yet her news is tied with Katie's family and fate--and lives are upturned even as everyone fights desperately to do the right thing. The Shunning refers to the ultimate punishment among the Amish--someone who's committed an offense against the community may not be spoken to or looked at until true repentance is achieved. It's not revealing too much to say that it's Katie who becomes the target of this punishment. But the threads of drama surrounding the crisis--expertly directed by Michael Landon Jr.--keep the viewer, and most of the townspeople, guessing about the "whole story." The Shunning is a drama about people, connections, love, and loss, and it's told with respect and heart. Anyone who enjoys a good romantic drama, with a strong, yet vulnerable, heroine, should embrace The Shunning. --A.T. Hurley
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It would be nice to have a DVD made by Ken Burns, to show the Old and the new Amish lifestyle.
Showing how some communities live without any modern conveniences, while others have adapted to making some of the finest furniture and large RV cabinets using modern conveniences.
How can a young beautiful girl who lusts for songs and guitar music marry an Amish Bishop? Is music from the heart to please God? So many conflicts between the English & Amish ways to face. Katie discovers a family secret prior to her nuptials and sets out to sample the English city "sin-style". She makes a larger decision that shames family and she ultimately is shunned. Shunning is a ban on association with a fallen member of the Amish faith. A most severe discipline; as the church members see her turning from the faith.
Absolutely beautiful country scenic film; with rural NC playing the set of Hickory Hollow, Lancaster Co. Eye-catching Danielle Panabaker (Katie) & Sandra W. Van Natta (Mom) are excellent in playing these two emotional roles.
This beautiful setting host any human struggle of opposites. Politics, race, gender, rich/poor, generational, conflicts are not unlike that of the movie "The Help" (you must see it). In "The Shunning" it happens to be a chosen way of non-worldly lifestyle that creates conflict. "The Shunning" is associated with AFFIRMfilms who also connect with the Christian film hit "Courageous." Another must see!
DVD does have SDH subtitles. Bonus is 4 minutes of deleted.
I also enjoyed the role of Ella Mae Zook (Nancy Saunders) who has the line "The miracle ain't the life you missed, but it's the life you've got."