"Amish: A People of Preservation" is a decent introduction to these people. However, if you are looking for an in-depth discussion of their fundamental beliefs or the many different ways that they live, then you might be a bit disappointed. I am not sure if any such film exists, but a much longer and more detailed documentary on them would be nice to see. I know that depending on which group of Amish or Mennonites you examine will determine how much of modern life they allow themselves to adopt for themselves. So, groups in Pennsylvania behave VERY differently from those who live in Central Florida. How much they assimilate, how they earn their money and how much technology they use differs significantly. I would LOVE to have seen more about this.
When this film was made is a bit vague as you watch. While IMDb lists the release date at 2000 and there are a few references to things of that time (such as a cartoon about Y2K), much of it looks like it was filmed between the 1970s and 80s. For example, you see a 1974 almanac sitting in one home, lots of older cars and hair styles of the 70s. And, because it appears that much of it is much older than 2000, this would explain why the quality of the film is so grainy.
The other question that came to mind was how the folks who made the film were able to get the cooperation of so many Amish. After all, there are prohibitions for many Amish about being photographed or filmed--yet this obviously was not a major obstacle, as many members of this sect DID allow themselves to be in the film and a few even spoke during the documentary.
Aside from these questions, the film was a nice look at the people. It dispelled many misconceptions I had and allowed a rare look into their world. And, because of how rare this is, it's well worth seeing.
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