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Cast: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Tammy Blanchard, Matt Letscher, Fay Masterson, Madison Mason, Gary Graham, Darcy Rose Byrnes, Karley Scott Collins, Eugene Byrd, John Churchill
When a gunman killed five Amish children and injured five others in a Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting in October of 2006, the world media attention rapidly turned from the tragic events to the extraordinary forgiveness demonstrated by the Amish community. Through the eyes of a grieving mother, Ida Graber, and other devastated families, this movie explores the Amish's astonishing reaction to the horrific shootings - of forgiveness and compassion.
I can't even imagine losing someone I love to such a senseless act of violence but this film can easily be something that just happened yesterday instead of in 2006. The film deals with the tragic events that happened on October 2, 2006 when Charles Roberts, a man everyone knew as "Charlie the Milkman" walked into West Nickel Mines school and gunned down ten Amish girls, between the ages of 6 and 13, five of whom later died. Charlie had a grudge against God for losing his child and wanted to get even, senseless and horrific but none the less true. As the media came the Amish community did something just as shocking, they went to the home of Charlie's and offered his wife forgiveness but Ida Gaber, the mother of one of Charlie's victims her 13 year old daughter Mary Beth, couldn't bring herself to forgive Charlie for what he did. It was Ida's steadfast hatred towards not only Charlie but his wife Amy, who was completely devastated by what her husband did, as well. As Ida's hatred grew she found her life and family slowly falling to pieces. I can only imagine the pain and hate this woman had for Charlie and even his wife but I suppose forgiving someone for such a crime is not an easy thing so I certainly felt for the woman. Right from the start of the film it tells you this is a fictionalized version of the real event, so there is certainly added drama and other things included in the film to make it more entertaining but the over-all message of the film is loud and clear. I felt a wide range of emotions from anger to sad and even touched by the out pour of forgiveness offered by this community. The film teaches us that even though you will never fully recover from something this tragic if you find it in your heart to forgive at least you can move you with your life. Forgiveness is the theme here so next time someone does something small against you and if though you are angry you might think back to what this Amish community did in the wake of much more tragic events and you might then find it much easier to forgive as well.
There is certainly some tough lessons learned here but the film is touching and it will effect you long after it is over. The cast did a terrific job here including, Kimberly Williams-Paisley who did a terrific job playing Ida, the rest of the cast was amazing as well. The highest rated movie ever to premiere on Lifetime, Amish Grace is a true testament to the power of faith and forgiveness, I highly recommend this film to everyone. You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
***** Out Of *****