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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD: The Mennonites & Benjamin Eby

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Die Möglichkeit, ihre kulturellen Werte zu erhalten und frei auszuleben, hat viele Einwanderer nach Kanada gelockt. Die Filmemacherin Ann Kennard erforscht die private Welt der Mennoniten und der kühnen Gründer dieser faszinierenden Gemeinschaft im Südwesten Ontarios.

The freedom to worship and practice distinct cultural values have lured many immigrants to Canada. Filmmaker Ann Kennard explores the private world of the Mennonites and the intrepid founders of their community in southern Ontario. Benjamin Eby crossed the Canadian border in 1807 in a horse cart, carrying a quilt stitched with ten thousand pockets. Each pocket contained an American silver dollar to buy off the mortgages on the 60,000 acres of land the Mennonites purchased in Waterloo county.

Eby would go on to found the Mennonite community in St Jacob's, Ontario and be ordained as the first Mennonite bishop in Canada. He built the first Mennonite church, opened and taught at the first Mennonite one-room schoolhouse, bought the first printing press and distributed the first Mennonite newsletter.

Far from being mired in the past, this fascinating documentary captures not only the Mennonite cultural, religious and community traditions but the voices of dissent and change, the conflict and struggle of a society in transition. In Mennonite schools today, only some children wear hats, plain clothes or long skirts. In the fields, one farmer uses a manual haying machine while another works with mechanized bailers and combines. Today nearly 50 different groups of Mennonites live in Ontario, fragmented according to different values and beliefs.

Award-winning filmmaker, Ann Kennard (The Powder Room/ Freeman Patterson) gained extraordinary access to this very exclusive community in south-west Ontario. Her film offers rare glimpses into a lifestyle and philosophy of life that is unique in Canada.


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