Network: Hallmark Channel
Original Air Date: April 16, 2011
Danielle Panabaker ... Katie Lapp
Sandra Van Natta ... Rebecca Lapp
Bill Oberst ... Samuel Lapp
Sherry Stringfield ... Laura Mayfield-Bennett
Burgess Jenkins ... Bishop John Beiler
Nancy Saunders ... Ella Mae Zook
Jason Loughlin ... Benjamin Lapp
from Hallmark Press Release:
A young Amish girl struggles with her identity as she prepares for an arranged marriage with the town’s bishop. Then, she is stunned to find out she was adopted and her birth mother wants to be reunited with her. As she wonders what could have been and starts separating herself from her community’s strict religious customs, the town turns their backs on her just when she needs them the most.
Based on the best-selling book by Beverly Lewis. Michael Landon, Jr. and Brian Byrd are the executive producers for Lightworks Pictures.
This movie was fairly slow moving. I felt sometimes that those who read the book knew more of what was going on than what was revealed within the movie. For instance, there were sequences where Katie went back in time in her memory of time she spent with another young man who was from a different Amish Community. I felt many unanswered questions there - how did they meet - how did they get together in secret? He appears to be Katie's first love. We eventually learn, later on, that he has died.
The Amish speaking was often times hard to understand. I know they were trying to be authentic to the Amish way of speaking, but it was difficult to make out, at times... especially if there was loud background music. I also noticed Katie's Amish father wearing a wedding band, when it is not acceptable for the Amish to wear jewelry. I found it to be very noticeable - a huge mistake when trying to be authentically Amish.
As day to day life goes by, Katie realizes there is some secret everyone is hiding from her. She feels different than the others in her Amish Community. She wants to sing other music, than what is in their Hymn books, but that is forbidden. She also loves to play the guitar, but that, too, is forbidden. Her father, eventually breaks her guitar in a rage of anger.
Katie's Amish parents eventually admit to her that they are not her birth parents and that her real mother has come looking for her and that she is
About to be married to an Amish man, Katie realizes she cannot go through with it. She rushes out of the church and the Amish men leaders decide that her punishment is to be shunned.
From then on, no one speaks or does anything with her. Katie gives her dowry back to her father. Eventually, her Mother and a neighbor lady do speak with her... after that, Katie decides to leave and go see her birth mother.
At the bus station, Katie's father showed up. He laid the money, her dowry, in the seat next to her. Before leaving, Katie rushed back and hugged him. Then, she got on the bus ... and they showed the bus driving off down the road... into the distance. That was the end. We did not see anything beyond that. I couldn't believe we didn't see her meet her Mother. The movie felt sad and incomplete, to me.
I felt, in a way, that the real shunning was what Katie did to her Amish family... leaving them and turning her back on her Amish upbringing.
Please see - Reviews & Comments from other Viewers of this Movie, below....
See or Skip:
See, if you enjoy Amish Fiction.
The Shunning is available on DVD.
There is a Sequel to this Movie, titled: The Confession. See details, here.