May 6, 2008
The Devil’s Playground Review
This was sincerely the biggest eye opening independent film that I have ever seen. I know absolutely nothing about the Amish faith or people as I have never been exposed to them. Their strict way of life is backed by a very close knit family and strong religious beliefs. When teenagers in the Amish community turn sixteen they are free to explore the “English” world and they are exposed to everyday American life. Followers of the Amish religion believe that being exposed to the outside world is like being exposed to the Devil’s playground, hence the name of the film.
The film takes place in Lagrange County Indiana, where a large Amish population resides. Rumspringa is the time in an Amish child’s life when he or she decides to join or leave the Amish religion. Rumspringa occurs when a child turns sixteen and they are suddenly thrown into the “English” lifestyle. Many Amish children drop out of school in the eighth grade to begin working with their families so lack of education plays a major role in the decision making when it comes to the outside world. The Amish have completely different views from most as they use no electricity, men always grow beards after they are married, and women are encouraged to have as many children as possible. The Amish do not disagree with technology; rather they believe that it will tear their families apart. One of the main characters of the film is Faron, an eighteen year old who cannot make up his mind about joining. The film interviews Faron during his Rumspringa and shows some of the typical problems that many Amish children face today. The children have no parental guidance at the time so they indulge in high risk behaviors such as binge drinking and drugs. Faron becomes addicted to crystal meth and it quickly begins to take over his life. He soon realizes that his addiction has taken over his life as he is spending about one hundred...