Meet the Mennonites

2018, Society  -   5 Comments
7.55
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Ratings: 7.55/10 from 20 users.

Much like the Amish, the Mennonites live a life of isolation from the outside world. They resist the temptations of the modern society by casting themselves away from it. As a result, outsiders have rarely enjoyed an insider's perspective on their daily existence. Meet the Mennonites pulls back the curtain and offers a rare glimpse into their simple and fascinating way of life.

The film observes life in a Mennonite commune in Belize. Many of the commune's inhabitants are reluctant to be shown on camera, but the filmmakers manage to gain the trust of a few subjects. Through their insights, we learn what draws them to a life of extreme discipline, religious devotion and self-containment.

Their unique perspectives are embedded into them from a young age. Children attend school from the age of 6 to 13. During that time, they forgo the usual textbooks devoted to math and science. Their studies revolve exclusively around the Bible.

The typical Mennonite families consist of up to a dozen children. Their days are spent working on farmland or constructing useful furnishings to sell to the outside world.

Artifacts from the outside - such as cell phones - are viewed as tools from Satan. Even so, a few members of the commune have opened themselves to more inclusion from their surrounding communities. This is a sore point with the more devout members of the Mennonite tribe, and they work to ensure that these "offenders" are appropriately ostracized for their transgressions.

Sensing a wavering from the old order, a feeling of discontent begins to rumble among the more traditional members of the community. Together, they join forces to form a new commune in Peru. This ambitious move stirs both optimism and fear within them. It will mark their first time on a plane, and a degree of interaction with the masses that they have been successful in avoiding up until now.

Sharply observant and free of judgement, Meet the Mennonites is a fascinating look at a committed people who are driven by a shared thirst for a simpler way of life.

Directed by: Mélanie Van Der Ende

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5 Comments / User Reviews

Leave a Reply to GunnarInLA Cancel reply

  1. Voluntaryist

    They can run but they can't hide from the world, e.g., technology, new ideas that challenge the old ways. Life is change. It can be ignored, but it persists. It's better to face the challenges head on and deal with them, just like they are facing a new land, with courage/optimism.

  2. Jair

    Go on brothers.

  3. Fires

    Thank you

  4. GunnarInLA

    ...yes, it's a pretty good documentary...the intro above is good. They do use trucks as well, we could see, so not quite as "consistent" as the Amish perhaps...watch it if you're interested in this type of "avoidance" of "the modern world"...it's a tough choice to make...I gave it 7

  5. Lu

    WHAT? Plastic is Old Order Mennonite approved? Everything is a matter of perspective!