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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Shunning - Hallmark Channel Movie


The Shunning

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.

Movie Review:

(Contains Spoilers!)

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.



  1. OH MY GOSH!!!! I just found you via a friend. I am so excited about this being a movie! I wrote it on my calendar! Thanks so much for bringing this to everyone's attention! I became a follower.

  2. ^Glad to have informed you! LOL! I recently finished the book so I am really looking foward to seeig this, and it would be nice if the rest of the story are made into movies.

  3. I hope the movie is as good as the book series. I loved them. I hope they don't change it as much as Love Comes Softly series, book to movie. That was too hard to follow the changes from one to the other.

  4. Enjoyed the movie but didn't like the sort of open end.....

  5. Unfortunately the movie only showed the first half of the book.

  6. I loved the movie but sure hope there is a follow up to it because I hated the way it ended...so can we see The Shunning 2 soon..

  7. Did you get a chance to watch it? Thoughts?

  8. Big let down !! The book was so much better, BAD PROPS Amish men do not wear wedding rings (Katie's Dat had one on ) I have read everybook in this series..and every other book from this author, you did not do it justice!!

    1. Men's haircuts were wrong, but it would take an actor a year or more to grow it right!

  9. Liked it... heard they are considering a sequel.

  10. Oh my goodness, what happened to the ending? I think they created this to be continued. How long do we have to wait for that?

  11. The way they spoke was often hard to understand. I found it to be long and rather dramatic.

  12. Danielle Panabaker was great. She was far better in this than any of her Disney roles. Hope to see her in more Hallmark films.

  13. Movies just never seem to live up to the books.

  14. I liked the movie except whne the limo driver makes a reference to no not seeing any brothers around.. Do not understand where that has anything to do with the story at all. It was totally stupid...

  15. loved the movie but ending was not what I expected ,it was unfinished! I am hoping for another movie with the rest of the book.

  16. I and the wife just finished the movie Loved it always love the Amish Movies

  17. Just watched this on Thursday.Unfortunately,the adaptation chose to have something central to resolving the second book happen toward the end and prompt an explanation that strongly contradicts something central to resolving the third book,so I don't see how they can adapt the other two books while remaining in continuity with this first movie!

  18. I found myself extremely distracted by what appeared to be sort of an Irish accent by most of the Amish. This really confused me, because if they did not speak English, it would have been Swiss German or Dutch. The sort of Irish was not at all an English accent. SO ... why bother trying to do an accent if it is not authentic.

    The other things that blows me away is all of the "make-up". These people do not use it. I do not care if it is a movie ... it just is wrong and definitely NOT authentic. Can we not accept women unless they are made up?

    The story was OK. I think she was too quick to discard her family. The old boyfriend planted a seed of "wander lust". I think that this was to show that her different genes were the cause. That is bunk! She proved herself to just be typical of the young people of today ... totally self focused and not very appreciative of what they have received in life ... somehow they are always "entitled" to so much more. As a 72 yr old I have watched our values go 180 degrees.

    1. The Amish don't speak Swiss German or Dutch, they speak their own dialect of German, related to Swiss German but with a separate evolution for 300+ years. As to he accent, they did an awfully good job of reproducing the Amish accent that would have been very common 40 years ago in the remoter Pennsylvania communities, and universal among East Coast Amish 60 years ago. It can still be heard among elderly Amish raised in PA but is otherwise becomIng rapidly extinct. Most PA Amish speak English pretty much as their neighbors do, as have Midwestern Amish for a much longer time. Except for the Beachy Amish, however, all Amish still speak "Pennsylwanish Deitsh" in the Amish community and read the Scriptures in High German.

  19. I thought the movie was good but the ending.... There has to be another movie is that was only the first half of the book..... I'm accually watching it right now lol

  20. I have to agree with all the other comments..... This is just barely the first half of the book. Totally unfinished business. My 14 year old daughter hasn't read the book, but felt completely lost as to what the ending should have been. This wasn't an ending, it is an intermission. How long to we have to wait for the rest of the story......... ?

  21. Loved the movie. Watched it twice. Had the same reaction about the ending the first time. Then I realized the crux of the movie was the conversation with the neighbor and her mother at the end.

    Those conversations told you the point of the movie and the ending. Had it showed meeting the birth mother it would have just been another "feel good" movie.

    Nice work.

  22. I loved the movie. I never expect the movies to be as good as the books, typically not possible. But the end did leave me sad. Sure hope they plan to produce a Part II. I will definitely be watching it, if so. I always prefer a feel good movie. The real world has enough of it's own sadness, watching movies is my time to escape that. Give me a sappy chick flick any day.

  23. Rachel ShetterlySunday, May 06, 2012

    Okay, the Amish in Lancaster county, PA DON"T talk like that. Let the actors speak normally! It was a complete distraction. Having come from the Amish, I find these novels and movies somewhat upsetting. I can't wait for someone to write a novel about an amish person that can make it successfully outside the Amish faith. It has happened. Our family is proof. I'm sorry I couldn't finish watching it. The Amish are way too commercialized.

    1. I agree about Amih who have left . This is Ben--I've written a couple other posts. Many of us (about 15%) leave the community before becoming members can leave and do well if they can make up for lack of high school education. Those who can't sometimes have trouble coping and finding stable employment. I knew for certain I wanted to be a scientist, though I had only a foggy idea what that meant. I argued persistently that I wanted to go to high school. I has cousins who had left and joined the conservative Mennonite church and they were willing to let me live with them. My dad and my granddad saw that I would not choose to join the church when I reached the right age, so they decided to treasure the time they still had with me. They let me live at home while attending high school as long as I continued to observe the family and church rules in all other respects. I did (though that meant doing the wild stuff Amish teenagers do). I got a scholarship to Eastern Mennonite, joined the Mennonite church, an became a cardiologist. I'm happy, and I've kept up good relations with my family. There is much I have missed about the community, but much I am happy to be without.

  24. If I recall correctly from the books, which I haven't read in years, she doesn't actually find her real mother until the second book. I haven't watched the movie, but I know the book left me hanging so I'm not surprised that the movie does too.

  25. yes i just watch the first part wish i can find the 2nd part it ended with suspend if katie found her birth mom would love to see what happen

  26. I too grew up in an Amish community, in Mifflin County, PA. What bothers me about this film and Lewis's books is that they romanticize the Amish and betray a lot of ignorance about Amish life. The most outrageous thing is the notion that a teenaged Amish girl would only encounter a guitar and English songs as part of a secretive teenaged love affair. In most communities, the Amish let their teenagers run wild. We all had small radios that we would take to impromptu parties on th weekends. My brother and his friends pooled their money and bought an old car with an aWesome stereo and we would cruise around on Friday nights making nuisances of ourselves and drinking. There is way way too much familiarity between boys and girls, and teenaged pregnancy is more common than pious romantics like Lewis would want you to know. And I can think of a dozen kids, all boys, who had guitars. Of course, all that comes to an end when you make th decision to get baptized and join the church, and if somebody like Katie continued to keep and play a guitar that could be a problem in many church Districts.

  27. This is Ben again. I wrote the post on Amish teenagers and the long one on The Amish accent. One other thing that bugs m about this movie and Lewis's books is that she portrays Amish people as having basically only one personality--stern, pious, mostly kind, and strict about religious observance. Like every other human community, Amish folk have the full range of personalities. Plenty of Amish love thei community and its ways but are forever pushing boundaries and finding little ways around the rules. The Amish have a subtle but wicked sense of humor, and because we grow up essentially speaking 3 languages, people love clever puns and word plays and word jokes. There is every kind of personality: happy, kind, greedy, jealous, violent, gentle, rigidly stern, warmly pious, conniving, innocent, verbally abusive, generous, and everything else. The community see and upholds high standards for personal conduct, but sometimes these backfire and give fuel to domineering, controlling personalities. Then there are people like my brother who owned an old car as a teenager and ran around on weEkends cruising and drinking. He's now a respected bishop with a vey soft heart for teenagers and who lives and enforces the ordnung with compassion and generosity even though he's pretty old fashioned. Why can't books and novels like these portray Amish folk as real three dimensional people?

  28. I appreciate all of your comments regarding the movie. I understand that they have left this movie as a continuation to the next, however - I personally feel they should have played them closer together - instead of years apart. It's also disappointing that they had to change the original lead actress. I'm sure the new girl is great, too - but it just makes a story seem more real when they use the same people to play the same characters.

    To BEN,

    I appreciate all of your insight into your life of growing up in the Amish community. Sounds like you had a very positive experience and I'm glad you still stay in touch with your family and have a good life.

  29. I'm confused. She doesn't know she was adopted and yet she knows how to play a guitar and learns entire songs? She had to be pretty old to learn that. Have just started the movie... should be interesting to see how they explain it.

  30. I am so looking forward to seeing this new adaption of Beverly Lewis books. She is a terrific writer but some things just don't have the same feel on tv. I am looking forward to seeing how they continue the stiory of The Shunning to The Confession.

  31. I liked The Shunning but the loud music drowning the dialogue is most annoying and distracting. The Confession is like a soap opera episodes pieced together and not very believable.

  32. What was the music in the background when Kate was with Dat at the bus station? I believe it is a hymn. I think it is Jesus Paid It All but my husband say no. I could not find it in the credits. Thanks to anyone who knows.


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