Lucy Walker's documentary film “Devil's Playground,” chosen by Professor Richard Salter, will be shown for the 12 Windows: Encountering Culture Through Film series at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 7, in the Sanford Room. The film focuses on the period of exploration for Amish youth called rumspringa (Pennsylvania Dutch for “running around”), during which Amish youth in their late teens explore life outside their community, and experiment with modern conveniences such as cars, radio, and television. They may date, and experiment with smoking, drinking, and drug use.
For her film, Walker follows several Amish teens in LaGrange County, Ind. Her subjects include 18-year-old Farron, who has been in rumspringa for two years, is jobless and hooked on drugs but still steadfastly states he's intent on returning to the church; Gerald, who admits he has no desire to return to the church yet is quickly growing tired of the party life; Velda, who did return only to leave again later (punishment for doing so is shunning); and the undecided Joann who, realizing the finality of her choice, struggles with her decision. Walker’s film is the result of years of hands-on research spent living alongside her subjects. (Source: Reeltalk and Box Office Magazine)