This is a fascinating film about a communal Christian colony called the Hutterites. Their origins are in the Amish and Mennonite Anabaptist tradition and there are over 400 colonies in Canada and the U.S. This group live near the Canadian border, but some time back during a time of grief, one family went to a tent revival and were “saved,” and now worship differently than the Hutterites. The emphasis is on Jesus, not love and commitment to the community of believers. They worship in English, not German.
The Flatwillow colony born again women sell their bread at a farmer’s market and use the time to evangelize. This is different from other Hutterites that only send men outside the colony. The “born agains” have Bible study, a practice not observed by Hutterites who read the Bible literally without questioning or interpreting. The “born agains” will not be able to intermarry with the Hutterites, and the two groups no longer do the same tasks on the 15,000 acre property.
I didn’t know when the film was made, but the eye wear looked like the early 1990s, and I found a WorldCat entry for 1992, filmed by BBC. So this all happened over 20 years ago. They were making so many dress and life style changes I assume they eventually didn’t follow any Hutterite traditions, although when the film was made they continued them. I did find an obituary for Eli Stahl from 2011, which follows a comment one of his relatives made in the film about an early death for those who leave the faith.