Growing up I often heard my father refer to us as Pennsylvania Dutch.Â The term always confused me because I thought we were German.Â IÂ learned a bit later these terms are not mutually exclusive.Â “American Experience”Â presents “The Amish”Â not an easy subject matter to document.Â Mark Samels, the Executive Producer ofÂ the program, saysÂ “By an incredible factor this was the most difficult film we ever attempted in our 23 years on the air…”.Â The filmmakers spent time building trust with the Amish community and using advisers trusted by the Amish to get a foothold into this very closed society.Â The result is a wonderful look inside a culture that lives in the shadows.
In October, 2006Â a one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, PA, became the lead news story of the day.Â It wasn’t the first time there had been a school shooting but it was shocking to most people that it happened in an Amish school.Â Being in Ohio I think we’re a bit more familiar with Amish communities.Â The shooting put the community front and center, a place they didn’t want to be. Once again the world was fascinated with their culture. Â This film answers many questions about this religious community with a very intimate look at contemporary Amish life.Â Be sure to watch Tuesday evening or set your DVR to view at a later time.
“The Amish: American Experience” airs Tuesday, February 28 at 8:00pm on WOSU TV, with an encore presentation on Thursday, February 29 at 8:00pm on WOSU PLUS.