Devil's Playground

Devil's Playground
1:16:41 | 2002

Categories: Documentary, Faith and Spirituality, Festivals

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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Reviews: A+ 26 Fans
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Comments

Christine Foy
f********m
April 24, 2015
A
null
n********m
April 19, 2015
A
How long has the concept, "rumspringa" existed? Do other such groups, i.e., Mennonights, hold to the same practice? It's seems like a realistic practice, and beneficial to the Amish, as well as, their youth.
Stewart Reed
r********t
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
c********m
February 10, 2015
A
Sara Hayes
s********m
January 27, 2014
A
kgberg
k********m
January 20, 2014
A+
raspberryeskimo
m********m
January 16, 2014
A+
James Hirsch
j********m
January 15, 2014
A
Rita Blilie
r********m
January 11, 2014
A