Devil's Playground

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1:16:41 | 2002
When Amish youths turn sixteen, they are given the opportunity to embark on a coming-of-age ritual known as rumspringa (literally "running around"). During this period, they are allowed to indulge in smoking, drinking, drugs and other 21st-century pleasures. It ends whenever the individual feels ready (typically between the ages of 18 to 22) to make the decision that will determine the rest of their lives. Do they join the church and commit to being Amish, or do they turn their backs on their families and religion and live on their own in modern "English" society? Directed by two-time Oscar nominee Lucy Walker (Waste Land, Blindsight), DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is an ambitious documentary that offers a unique experience inside an American subculture that has scarcely been captured on film. These teenagers are not subject to Amish rules (including their restrictions on being photographed), and so they have dared to share their world with us. A handful of elders from more liberal Amish communities, perturbed by the ritual of rumspringa, also agreed to be filmed. This film revolutionizes our understanding of this extraordinary community, and sheds light on how all the rest of us come of age.

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Topics: Independent Spirit Awards, Amish, Teenagers, Church, Coming Of Age, Lucy Walker, Tradition, Rumspringa, Religion, Sundance Film Festival
Reviews: A+ 24 Fans
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Comments

Stewart Reed
Stewart Reed
February 14, 2015
A+
I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I am not Amish - although I am PA Dutch. I went to school (elementary) with these people, worked on their farms, socialized during electrical blackouts, studied the theology in college. This documentary is spot on - in detail and emotion. I recognize everything. Things are a little crazier - or at least different - than I remember from the 70s and 80s, but this is reality. There are some details I wish would be addressed - too much of this film seems to suggest hyposcrisy on the part of the Amish - and it's far more complicated in reality.
Caroline Lifshey
Caroline Lifshey
February 10, 2015
A
Sara Hayes
Sara Hayes
January 27, 2014
A
kgberg
kgberg
January 20, 2014
A+
raspberryeskimo
raspberryeskimo
January 16, 2014
A+
James Hirsch
James Hirsch
January 15, 2014
A
Rita Blilie
Rita Blilie
January 11, 2014
A
Adam Vargas
Adam Vargas
November 24, 2013
A+
David W McGregor Sr.
David W McGregor Sr.
November 23, 2013
A-
I admire the Amish community for their zeal in living the Christian life. This movie is an eye opener to this crazy world that there is a better option to what most people think life should be for most of us. It looks boring and less colorful but once we realize that we are at constant war with the devil, then we will realize that living with the support of this community will help us to a sure path to heaven!