7.1/10
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23 user 14 critic

Devil's Playground (2002)

Amish teenagers experience and embrace the modern world as a rite-of-passage before deciding which life they will choose.

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Velda Bontrager ...
Herself
Mark Bontrager ...
Himself
Dewayne Chupp ...
Himself
Dylan Cole ...
Himself
Matt Eash ...
Himself
Sally Fisher ...
Herself
Marty Fry ...
Himself
John Groff ...
Himself (as John)
Lisa Groff ...
Herself
Andy Herschberger ...
Himself
Joann Hochstetler ...
Herself
Jesse Kaufman ...
Himself
Carol Lambright ...
Herself
Dale Lambright ...
Himself
Ervin Lambright ...
Himself
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Storyline

Amish teenagers experience and embrace the modern world as a rite-of-passage before deciding which life they will choose.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Which path will they choose?

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Documentary

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Release Date:

11 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Djævelens legeplads  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Appeared on Entertainment Weekly's list of The 50 Best Movies You've Never Seen in the Jul 16, 2012 issue. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Swollen Car
Written by Lyle Perkins
Performed by Manufracture
Published by Morr Music
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User Reviews

 
Thought-provoking; interesting subject matter
24 July 2003 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

Lucy Walker presents a view into a community that is rarely glimpsed by outsiders. The Amish community, tightly knit as it is, has little use for the "English" world outside. I was very intrigued by the premise of a film following young Amish people through the rite of passage of Rumspringa, wherein they discover what kind of people they want to be, and decide whether to join the Amish church.

The view given by Walker is largely unbiased; she presents the viewer with a portrait of several Amish youths and their decisions to join the church or to remain in the english world. The film focuses mainly on Faron, a youth who has gotten himself into trouble with drugs, and she does not judge him or criticize him. Rather, we see his actions and are told of his choices, and are left to draw our own conclusions and wonder what will become of him.

I found this film to be quite well done, and unlike some of the other reviewers, I don't think it felt staged or stilted. I found myself thinking about it long after I'd seen it, and wondering what had happened to the people whose lives it followed.

I recommend this film, and feel that as a debut, it is quite an achievement. Some of the moments actually reminded me of Harmony Korine's work; it has a subtle air of discontent and uncertainty. Well done. ****/*****.


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