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The Amish (American Experience) [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Public Broadcasting Service
  • Release Date: Feb. 28 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00652U6CE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,520 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
What an amazing job the production team did on this doc. I have seen and read a great deal about the Amish over the years and I honestly didn't think I would learn anything by watching it, but I did. They were respectful towards the Amish. They didn't sugar coat it either. The Amish are not perfect and they will be the first to tell you that. They have their faults just like everyone else. The production team did such a good job showing this with respect. Best documentary I have seen on the Amish so far.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was ordered as a gift but was requested by the person it was gifted to.
Good ordering process for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa25b6f60) out of 5 stars 33 reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2662378) out of 5 stars THE AMISH: The Truth Isn't Plain or Simple Feb. 28 2012
By David Crumm - Published on
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. This documentary shown nationally on PBS is, by far, the best film I have seen about Amish life in America. Yes, the Nickel Mines story is recounted here. Yes, much of the footage is absolutely gorgeous--from stark winter scenes on the Midwest plains to a summer night when the filmmakers caught swarms of lightening bugs rising from the tall grass around a farm. Yes, on balance, the Amish come off as a noble people.

But--this film does examine the painful experience of trying to leave the Amish and it also touches on the nearly impossible problem Amish children and women face if a man in the community becomes abusive. In the documentary, we meet Saloma Furlong, whose departure from her Amish family was especially difficult. If you are intrigued by the film and Saloma's story, I urge you to get a copy of her 2011 memoir, Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir, as well.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa266324c) out of 5 stars Highly recommended Feb. 28 2012
By Bob - Published on
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!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By KATELAND - Published on
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2663774) out of 5 stars Terrific Documentary, American Experience June 30 2012
By Edith Biggar - Published on
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2663b34) out of 5 stars Amish Documentary Nov. 17 2012
By carmell137 - Published on
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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