Contribute Now
American Experience | The Amish | History & Documentary | WMHT

American Experience | The Amish

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on
Amish Preview

Watch Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 1:30pm on WMHT TV.

On October 2, 2006, a 32-year-old milk truck driver named Charles Roberts entered a one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and shot 10 young girls, killing five, before committing suicide as police officers stormed the school. Just hours after the shooting, Amish community members visited the gunman’s family to offer forgiveness. The events at Nickel Mines horrified the nation for the senseless brutality of the shootings and left many questioning and haunted by the victims’ startling response.

Filmed over the course of a year, The Amish answers many questions Americans have about this insular religious community. Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America for more than a century. An extraordinarily intimate portrait of contemporary Amish faith and life, the film questions why and how the Amish, an insistently closed and communal culture, have thrived within one of the most open, individualistic societies on earth; explores how, despite their ingrained submissiveness, the Amish have successfully asserted themselves in resisting the encroachments of modern society and government; asks what our fascination with the Amish says about deep American values; and looks at what the future holds for a community whose existence is so rooted in the past.

With unprecedented access to the Amish built on patience and hard-won trust, the film is the first to deeply penetrate and explore this profoundly attention-averse group and includes the voices of those close to the murdered schoolgirls.

Learn the story of how Theodore Roosevelt became our nation’s 26th president.

New York NOW: Education & History

Advocates say state needs to obey 10 year old school aid court order

It’s been 10 years since New York’s highest court ordered that more state money be paid to schools with the poorest children. But advocates say in the decade since...

POV Documentary Blog

Doc Memo: Policing the Police, TIFF Plunges into Virtual Reality

POV's daily list of essential reading for the documentary and independent filmmaking community.