This documentary is a part of PBS’s American Experience series and filmed over the course of twelve months.
The Amish: Shunned follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on their decisions to leave one of the most closed and tightly-knit communities in the United States.
Estranged from family, the ex-Amish find themselves struggling to understand and make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are the voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith.
Those interviewed in the documentary explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together, and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.
The Amish are group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss Anabaptist origins, situated in the United States. The group is known for living simple, dress plainly and reluctance to adopt modern technology.
The rules of the church, the Ordnung, ranges from limitations of electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. The Amish value rural life, manual labor, and humility, all under the auspices of living what they interpret to be God’s word.
Members who do not conform to these community expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent are excommunicated. In addition to excommunication, members may be shunned, a practice that limits social contacts to shame the wayward member into returning to the church. Almost 90 percent (According to Wiki) of Amish teenagers choose to be baptized and join the church.
- Full run time114 minutes
- Release yearFeb 4, 2014
- Directed byCallie T. Wiser
- Produced byPBS