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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD: The Mennonites & Benjamin Eby


Ann Kennard

This cultural documentary on the Mennonite settlement in southern Ontario is extraordinary for one reason: the camera reveals, for one of the first times in television history, the secluded and secretive life of an Old Order Mennonite family.

Because it is forbidden by their religion to appear on camera or in some cases even have their picture taken, this footage of the family at home talking, eating dinner, singing at a neighbour's house raising, attending the Sunday meeting house is not just rare, but groundbreaking. To find an Old Order Mennonite family willing to appear on television was something they agreed to as an exception, sympathetically, to help out the filmmaker in making this film about the Eby family history. For this reason we did not say the family name out loud in the film, or even the first names of the parents or children. Because of the strict rules amongst the Old Order, this Eby family could be banished from their meeting house by their Bishop, Deacon and Minister for breaking the rules.

The filmmakers and producers are greatly indebted to this Eby family for "bending their rules" and for helping us tell the story of their unknown and unobserved culture.

We hope that you, the audience, will appreciate the original, "never before seen" footage and that when you encounter Mennonite people in the markets and on the backroads of Canada, you will show the same respect that they showed our crew in making this film.

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