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Amish: A People Of Preservation

In this colorful, award-winning PBS documentary, Mennonite historian John Ruth takes us sympathetically into the Amish mindset. An updated look at Amish origins, beliefs, farm life, childhood, school, worship, recreation, courtship, horse transportation, barn-raising, land pressures and cottage industry.

  • Item 4683D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 54 min

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $4.99

Retail: $19.99
Price: $9.99
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Description

The Amish continue to intrigue their technology-current neighbors by keeping alive ways and beliefs that many modern Americans regard as irretrievably lost to progress. In this colorful, award-winning documentary, newly revised and augmented, Mennonite historian John L. Ruth takes us sympathetically into the Amish mindset. Appreciative neighbors, a well-known physician, an artist, and respected scholar John A. Hostetler, author of Amish Society, provide insightful commentary on the survival of an alternative to the kind of world we have made. As the Amish increase exponentially in numbers, some migrate toward more open farmland. Those staying in centuries-old communities where the land is too crowded to farm have developed an amazing variety of cottage industries. But all changes are made very carefully, in order not to undermine the spiritual covenant and community. Fullscreen.

American Film Festival -
Full of gentle respect for the lifestyle it reveals. Succeeds in conveying an understanding of the philosophy of the Amish.

An original PBS documentary
Excerpted on "Sixty Minutes"

Editorial Reviews

This is the one of the best videos we found about the Amish in Pennsylvania. An original PBS documentary, it was excerpted on "Sixty Minutes" and is full of gentle respect for the Amish and does an excellent job of revealing their lifestyle and developing an understanding of the philosophy under which the Amish live. The Amish continue to intrigue their technology-current neighbors by keeping alive ways and beliefs that many modern Americans regard as irretrievably lost to progress. In this colorful, award-winning documentary, newly revised and augmented, Mennonite historian John L. Ruth takes us sympathetically into the Amish mindset. Appreciative neighbors, a well-known physician, an artist, and respected scholar John A. Hostetler, author of Amish Society, provide insightful commentary on the survival of an alternative to the kind of world we have made. As the Amish increase exponentially in numbers, some migrate toward more open farmland. Those staying in centuries-old communities where the land is too crowded to farm have developed an amazing variety of cottage industries. But all changes are made very carefully, in order not to undermine the spiritual covenant and community.

Recommended for ages 15 and up. A people "in this world but not of it," the old order Amish retain their pre-industrial way of life, cling to the confines of their religious community, and strive for humility over pride. Visiting these devout people in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this documentary looks beyond the quaint, horse-drawn carriages to chart the Amish's theological history, the religious tenets of their traditional life-style, and the tensions between the "old order" ways and the modern society in which they live. The community's slow-paced agricultural livelihood and transgenerational family life are some of the aspects of their existence captured in leisurely, descriptive footage, much of which appears to be the earlier 16mm film of the same title [BKL F 15 77]. Some more contemporary sequences update the material, and observers offer additional perspective on the Amish. This is a respectful and illuminating study.

This award-winning PBS documentary was filmed in Lancaster County, PA - the oldest Amish Community in America. It is a wonderful loving look at a Christian community and tradition that has changed very little from its reformation beginning under Jacob Amman at the beginning of the 17th century. Leaving European persecutions, the Amish and their offshoot successors the Mennonites, Hutterites, and Brethren, emigrated to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today there are 75,000 Amish scattered throughout 20 states and provinces of North America. "Though the Amish ways are not the ways of our fast--paced, technologically dependent 20th Century American world, they have remembered some things and preserved ways of living and relating that many of us wish we could recapture." Mennonite historian-producer of this video portrait, John Ruth, takes us inside the world of the Amish. We share in Amish home, school, community, and "hauas kirche" (house church) life today as it has existed and sustained its families for the past three centuries. But the 20th century has taken its toll and brought challenges to those who would cling to this earlier community of God, home, earth, and faith maintaining people. Featured in this portrait are vignettes of Amish origins, farm - life, childhood, worship, recreation, courtship, barn-raising, horse-transportation and the impact of tourism. "What is revealed about this fascinating and intriguing people provides thought about what kind of world we have made, what's really important, and how we live our lives."--Video sleeve. A wonderful experience to enhance your congregation's video ministry.

This documentary considers the Amish commitment to preservation in four ways - preservation of faith, heritage, community, and land. Written and narrated by Anabaptist scholar John Ruth, the film focuses on the Lancaster County, PA, Amish but is also applicable to other areas. Topics include education, the role of women, life ceremonies, and the impact of the ordnung (the set of rules binding the community). Two former sect members offer testimony and recollections, and Amishmen discuss (offscreen) the impact of the tourist trade and land development pressures. Rare examples of Amish preaching and slow-singing are included. This is a revised version of a film produced some years ago, and age and variable shooting conditions give some images a grainy quality. Libraries with a serious interest in the Old Order Amish will want this valuable documentary.

Ages 15- adult. A people "in this world but not of it," the old order Amish retain their preindustrial way of life, cling to the confines of their religious community, and strive for humility over pride. Visiting these devout people in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this documentary looks beyond the quaint, horse-drawn carriages to chart the Amish's theological history, the religious tenants of their traditional life-style, and the tensions between the "old order" ways and the modern society in which they live. The community's slow-paced agricultural livelihood and transgenerational family life are some of the aspects of their existence captured in leisurely, descriptive footage, much of which appears to be the earlier 16mm film of the same title (BKLF 15 77). Some more-contemporary sequences update the material, and observers offer additional perspective on the Amish. This is a respectful and illuminating study.

Customer Reviews

Amish No More

This is coming from a former Amish. My parents were raised in Lancaster Pa. and then moved to Kentucky in search for cheaper property and a new start in life. This is where I spent most of my formative years. I viewed this film in the year 2006 having abandoned the Amish ways six years earlier. While the film was already a decade old when I left and some of the practices have changed in that time like you can hardly find an Amish farmer who threshes grain anymore, it still represents why the simple amish ways are so appealing. If you are looking for a film to learn about the Amish, the Lancaster sect in particular, this is an excellent one.

- Excellent film

Loved, LOVED, LOVE it. Especially the children's song about heaven. They should you tube video clip. It sounds like the family cat is singing right along. I LOVE the people--their love of GOD and their work ethic. Best video EVER!!! 5 five star.

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