Devil's Playground (2002)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Lucy Walker directed this documentary about a little-known facet of Amish life. Although the Amish live in traditionally conservative enclaves, shunning modern conveniences and electricity while favoring a strict code of conduct and dress, they do have a moment in their lives known as "rumspringa." When an Amish child turns 16, they are allowed to interact with and take part in life away from their upbringing. This film follows a handful of teenagers as they break from their past and experiment with drinking, drugs, and driving (possibly for the only time in their lives). Devil's Playground was screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Devil's Playground
Devil's Playground is a classic exposition of the choice between freedom and order, between a closed society and an open one.
a reasonably entertaining and extremely insightful 77-minute examination of Amish culture, giving us privy to a world we'd never otherwise experience
Lucy Walker neither criticizes, romanticizes nor patronizes her subject.
Audience Reviews for Devil's Playground
Proves pretty definitively that teenagers are teenagers no matter how they're raised.
An occasionally interesting documentary chronicling the lives of five different individuals who try to experience life in the "real world" once they are given the opportunity to abandon their Amish roots. While the film is definitely surprising and compelling in parts, it fails to achieve a balance between its people involved, centering in on one more than the others (that being Faron), making the whole film feel sort of off-balanced from beginning to end. While it's definitely shocking to see how these individuals break away so fast, and in some cases, dangerously fast, the film makes it seem like their people's personal problems is what was their main downfall, when in reality, since most Amish kids don't have anything past a high school education, they, are essentially screwed from the start when it comes to hoping to fulfilling a successful lifestyle.
Very well done. Nothing like seeing Amish kids deal crack.
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