American Experience

The Amish

  • Season 24
  • , Episode 5  | 
  • Aired: 2/28/2012
    • Length: 01:52:26
    • Plays: ???
Synopsis >

On October 2, 2006, a 32-year-old milk truck driver named Charles Roberts entered a one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and shot 10 young girls, killing five, before committing suicide as police officers stormed the school. Just hours after the shooting, Amish community members visited the gunman’s family to offer forgiveness. The tragedy at Nickel Mines horrified the nation for its senseless brutality and left many questioning and haunted by the victims’ startling response. Lyrical and meditative, The Amish answers many questions Americans have about this insistently insular religious community, whose intense faith and adherence to 500-year-old traditions have by turns captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused for more than a century. With unprecedented access to the Amish built on patience and hard-won trust, this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film is the first to deeply penetrate and explore this profoundly attention-averse group, painting an extraordinarily intimate portrait of contemporary Amish faith and life. What does America’s attraction to the Amish say about deep American values? What does the future hold for a community whose existence is so rooted in the past?

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