Devil’s Playground (2003) Reviewed

"...Amish kids have the best parties."
“…Amish kids have the best parties.”

From the moment I saw the Amish teen lighting up on the face of the DVD box, I knew I had to see this movie. Evidently, the Amish allow their blossoming adolescents to take a good chunk of time to sort out whether or not the whole horse n’ buggy gig is for them. (It’s called Rumspringa.) While they contemplate their spiritual future they’re permitted to “follow their smile” as it were and explore the once and future unexplorable. Things like driving and electricity are only the tip of the iceberg. This documentary shows Amish hellions on the loose like 50’s drive-in movie juvies. There’s drinking, making out, rock and roll and crystal meth! It’s crazy and kind of depressing but always enlightening. One poor kid returns to the fold just so he can get clean. Another young woman who chose to go it alone finds herself a lonely lost soul burdened with severe depression. The filmmakers seem to push their subjects in the direction they want the film to go and I question the legitimacy of at least a few captured moments. (There’s always a camera around for dramatic crescendos.) Still, oddly informative and consistently entertaining. Add Witness and Kingpin to the mix for a hell-raisin’, barn-raisin’ triple feature. **1/2

Watch a clip from
Devil’s Playground:

~ by Number5ive on April 10, 2009.

One Response to “Devil’s Playground (2003) Reviewed”

  1. This is one of the wife’s favorite documentaries. All about the awesome, though I think I’d have paired it with Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills for a sweet documentary double feature.

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