The Mennonites of Manitoba
It has been a labor of love to take the idea of profiling this important religious and ethnic group through fundraising, filming, editing, and finally to the television screen, but writer/producer George Siamandas thinks it has been worth it. "Mennonites are such an important part of the culture and the economy of Manitoba," says Siamandas, "and, yet, many Manitobans have not known about the history and dimensions of Mennonite culture." "The Mennonites of Manitoba" will tell that story.
It is the story of a modest, peaceful, religious people. A people who have fled from Holland to Poland, from Poland to Ukraine, and from Ukraine to Manitoba, where they have held on to their distinctive culture and common history for 125 years.
The film explores that history and culture and also looks at the dual character of a Mennonite. Mennonite denotes a religious group based on common beliefs, but it also indicates a certain ethnicity. Siamandas feels the scenes with Mennonite women are some of the film's most engaging. "They were so expressive," he says. "The tell us what they think and feel, while the men talk of history and business."
"This is an important story," producer Siamandas says. "I'm delighted that, once again, Prairie Public is providing the opportunity to tell another interesting story about Manitoba." Siamandas is a Manitoban whom Prairie Public called on to tell Canadian stories in the past through the film "Pyramids On the Prairie."
About the Video Documentary
In the summer of 1874, a German speaking group of Mennonite immigrants from Russia, began to flow into the virgin prairie of southern Manitoba.
They settled on land that was very much like the land they had known for centuries. Sixty-thousand Mennonites now live along a band of fertile land hugging the Canadian American border. With core of beliefs centered around a faith in God, leading a productive life, and pacifism, the Mennonites have lived in Manitoba for more than 125 years. They are a religious people who over the last 125 years have flavored Manitoba with their faith, love for their neighbors and love of agriculture.
How has Manitoba shaped the Mennonites? And what kind of impact and contributions have the Mennonites made to Manitoba? How have they been able to sustain their culture in the face of so much change? Join us for a discovery of Southern Manitoba's Mennonites.
Prairie Public's website: http://www.prairiepublic.org