According to the film, at the age of 16, Amish youth are allowed to depart from many of the Amish rules and for the first time in their lives, though the scholarship on the subject does not support this view of a normative rumspringa. The young people sample life outside of the Amish community. Many drive cars, get jobs, have romantic and sexual relationships, and most experiment with smoking, partying, alcohol, and drugs.
One Amish youth that the film follows, Faron – a preacher’s son – even turns to drug dealing to satisfy his habit. Faron is eventually apprehended by the authorities and aids them in arresting another dealer. The movie continues as each subject faces a variety of challenges and pressures from both the “English World” and the “Amish World” of their families. Some return to their families, others do not. Some are baptized but later leave the Amish church, resulting in their families’ shunning them.
According to the documentary, after the period of Rumspringa, 90% of the youth decide to rejoin the church. (From Wikipedia)
Next up: Capturing the Friedmans on 10/23