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About the Show

On 2 October 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. This film answers many questions about this insistently insular religious community. It paints an extraordinarily intimate portrait of contemporary Amish faith and life. It questions why and how the Amish, an insistently closed and communal culture, have thrived within one of the most open, individualistic societies on earth; explores how, despite their ingrained submissiveness, the Amish have successfully asserted themselves in resisting the encroachments of modern society and government; and looks at what the future holds for a community whose existence is so rooted in the past.