The Amish on American Experience Now Online

Thanks to all who have sent me comments about American Experience. I am very pleased with how David and my story was portrayed. I’ve already mentioned that I love the film in general… it’s the most balanced documentary I’ve ever seen on the Amish.

For those who didn’t get to see it last night, you can now see it on the American Experience website. Enjoy!

I look forward to hearing everyone’s “take” on the film.

A photo of our wedding
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22 thoughts on “The Amish on American Experience Now Online”

  1. I thought it was great! I was so happy to see you on their and really loved your honesty. Yes, I loved how they showed the positive and the negative aspects of the Amish.

  2. I knew it was going to be on, but it slipped my mind later in the day. My husband was channel surfing and we came upon it just in time to see you! I was thrilled, and he was properly impressed that I knew you. :) I plan on checking it out in its entirety as soon as I can. We enjoyed it very much, and it was great to see you!

    Hope your week is going well.

  3. Saloma,
    Loved your honesty and the balance in the documentary. Are you aware that three former Amish young people have started a college scholarship fund for Amish? See
    My parents grew up Amish but did not stay Amish. I grew up Speaking PA Dutch and being in touch with my Amish roots. I look forward to reading your book. You are amazing!

  4. It was awesome to see you last night on PBS. I was hoping to see someone who had a similar story as my older friend who had left an Amish family in the 1950s. She always says “I asked too many questions”. :)

  5. I didn’t know what to expect. You did a good job, but I was a bit bored. The documentary was about as slow moving as a horse and buggy. There was plenty of farming to be seen, but a discreet wedding eck would have been nice and to show some of the church benches they sit on for what 3 hours could have been an enlightenment. Beautiful vegetable gardens surrounded by the flowers are a necessity. Did I miss it, or was it mentioned how many young women have had to go to work in the factories or work out of the home to help bring money in? I appreciate that the Amish scholars/historians were interviewed, but for 2 hours, I struggled not to turn off the tv. Maybe, if I didn’t have more knowledge I could have learned more. I appreciate my heritage and share it when anyone shows an interest. Thank you for your participation and story to tell of shunning. Evidently, I more shunning in the family than I was aware. Sad thing to lose family. God be with you and thanks again for sharing.

  6. I watched it today and I was very impressed. I loved your interview and at times I wanted to cry when I could see the emotion in your eyes. What a great wedding picture! you were a beautiful bride and David was such a handsome groom!
    Blessings, Joanne

  7. I enjoyed the PBS presentation. I have enjoyed and studied the Amish culture for many years. Seeing many of the authors of the books I’ve read was a bonus. Your segment was very moving. I read your book the day it was released. The largest population of Amish is in Ohio, yet very little of the presentation was from that area.What was the reason for that decision?

  8. I enjoyed this documentary. “Fair and balanced” is an apt description. Saloma, you’re part in it was well done. I would have appreciated a bit more from the interviewees that left the culture than from the scholars, but that is really a minor complaint. Over all it was well done.

    To the commenter that found it boring–I suspect your own ‘insider’ knowledge of the culture/community has a lot to do with finding the pace slow and/or boring.

    From a photojournalistic point of view it was excellent. Nancy

  9. I loved everything about it, the cinematography was especially beautiful and the way the mother of one of the Nickle Mines victims talked about forgiveness really made me think.

    I’ve always admired the way the Amish live but I don’t think I would ever choose to live that way, appealing as it is. Mostly because I have too many questions and I think children should have a choice in how much education they receive. Even so, I still really admire the 90% of kids who choose that life.

    One question that came to mind while I was watching it was related to the Great Depression. I would assume that since during that time most of the Amish were still farming and given the strong sense of community, they didn’t face the economic hardships that many of the folks in general population experienced. Or was it pretty much the same concerns/hardships among the Amish? Would that still be true today given how many of the younger generations are working in factories these days?

    Thank you so much for putting this on our radar and for your participation, it was really neat to be able to say to my husband “I read her blog”.

  10. I heard about you and your story on the PBS documentary, which I thought was great. You mentioned a few posts earlier that there was meaningful symbolism throughout the film. I was wondering if you could tell us more about that? I’m very interested.

  11. I have always been interested in the Amish way of life, I so admire their piety, although I know they are also only human.

    I thought the documentary was a good representation, balanced between those who are a good fit with the lifestyle and those who struggled with it. I thought Levi’s story was especially heartbreaking. But Saloma, your story haunts me, especially the remark you quote your mother saying to you about you asking too many questions.

    I can only imagine the strength it took to leave and I admire your courage. It is heartening to read about your many accomplishments in the ensuing years. You did a wonderful job in the program, expressing yourself so eloquently and with much compassion where many others would have bitterness. I am so glad to have found your blog. :)

  12. Thank you, Saloma, for sharing this. I was unable to watch the show the night it aired, but took the time to watch the entire video later. I thought it was beautifully filmed and told and feel the purpose of the way it was filmed was to capture at least the outer “illusion” of the peacefulness of Amish life. Actually, each shot was a piece of art framed as an Amish still-life might be.I so enjoyed seeing you and hearing your voice – also enjoyed seeing/hearing David. Good job, both of you!

  13. wow. I’m surprised by the one comment that someone was bored. Is she joking? I didn’t feel that the program was slow moving or boring. I was glued to the screen and I throughly enjoyed all of it. There isn’t much quality tv these days, and this program I was happy to catch. (I too almost missed it, seeing an ad for it then forgetting but just happened to check what was on PBS that evening and saw it was on.) This show was what brought me to this website.. I wanted to know more about the transition since I am going through something similar, only a different faith/culture. (not Amish) For that I greatly appreciate Saloma’s commentary in the program. I thought the program was very well done.

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