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this film is based around a fascinating subject; the amish custom of allowing every boy or girl who turns sixteen to do anything he or she pleases, no holds barred. apparently, the amish believe it is wrong to baptise infants, and that they're supposed to choose the amish way as free-thinking adults.
the opening titles explaining this raised my expectations, as did the movie poster: an image of a girl in an amish bonnet, sitting in the back seat of a car, lighting a cigarette. it felt like a stolen moment; like an exciting departure from everything she's been taught. what would teens like this do, give free rein for the first time in their lives? what would it feel like to taste the things that were always off limits?
well according to this movie, amish teenagers are just as debauched as anyone in western society; they have no qualms about doing anything at all; nothing seems exciting or new to them. they're just relieved that their nuisance parents are out of the way so that they can finally get on with their partying, driving and drugging.
and how do the parents feel about allowing their children to turn their backs on every value they ever taught them? that would be a challenging concept to any parent, let alone one in a supposedly closed, puritanical society. well, we'll never know, as the amish refuse to be filmed or photographed.
stripped of all the interesting questions, this remains a slick docu-soap in the mtv "real world" tradition, with no insights to offer; just a peek into the lives of a few amish teens, who may or may not be examples of anything larger than themselves.
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