Devil's Playground (film)

Devil's Playground (film)

name = Devil's Playground
director = Lucy Walker
producer = Steven Cantor
writer =
starring = Velda Bontrager Joann Hochstetler Emma Miller Faron Yoder Gerald Yutzy
movie_music =
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = February 4, 2003 (limited)
runtime = 77 min.
language = English
imdb_id = 0293088
music =
awards = Afi Dv Festival Best Documentary Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Special Jury Prize
budget =

"Devil's Playground" is a 2002 documentary film by Stick Figure Productions, directed by Lucy Walker about the alleged Amish rite of passage called Rumspringa. The film follows Amish teenagers in LaGrange County, Indiana who enter the "English World" before making the adult commitment to become baptised as adults in the Amish community. The non-Amish world is referred to in the film as "the Devil's Playground" (though there is no evidence that the term is in circulation among the Amish).


According to the film, at the age of 16, Amish youth are allowed to depart from many of the Amish rules, though the scholarship on the subject does not support this view of a normative rumspringa. The young people sample life outside of the Amish community. Many drive cars, get jobs, have romantic and sexual relationships, and most experiment with tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.

One Amish youth whom the film follows, Faron – a preacher's son – even turns to drug dealing to satisfy his habit. Faron is eventually apprehended by the authorities and aids them in arresting another dealer. The movie continues as each subject faces a variety of challenges and pressures from both the "English World" and the "Amish World" of their families. Some return to their families, others do not. One girl is baptized but later leaves the Amish church, resulting in her family shunning her.

According to the documentary, after the period of Rumspringa, "almost 90%" of Amish youth decide to rejoin the church.

ee also

* Amish
* Rumspringa
* Rite of passage

External links

*imdb title|id=0293088| title=Devil's Playground

* [ "Notes On Completing Devil's Playground" essay by director Lucy Walker]
* [ Variety review of Devil's Playground by Dennis Harvey]
* [ NPR piece on "Devil's Playground"]
* [ reviews of Devil's Playground]
* [ Barnes & Noble reviews of Devil's Playground]
* [ Reality Film's review of Devil's Playground]
* [ Plain Views review of Devil's Playground]
* [ Devil's Playground wins Audience Award]
* [ Independent Spirit Nominations for Best Documentary Devil's Playground]

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