MovieChat Forums > Amish Grace (2010) Discussion > Separating Fact and Fiction in terms of ...

Separating Fact and Fiction in terms of characters.


First, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and was surprised at the level of acting and production as opposed to your average lifetime movie. I am very interested in this story now, after having overlooked it as just another terrible tragedy that seems to happen all too often in the news, four years ago.

I am interested in how factual the movie actually is, especially in terms of the characters, since most of them have a different name.

I find it interesting that the only person who's name remains constant is Charlie Roberts. His wife's name is not Amy, but rather Marie...not too much of a difference there.

In terms of the girls, it appears the five girls who were killed in the movie were pretty directly based off of the girls who were killed in real life.

Died at the scene
Naomi Ebersol, age 7====Hannah
Marian Fisher, age 13 (also the leader, and the one who volunteered to take 1st bullett)======Mary Beth Graber

Died at the hospital
Anna Stoltzfus, age 12=====Sarah Knepp
Lena Miller, age 8 and Mary Miller, age 7====the sisters who died in the movie, forget their names

The little sisters of the girls who were killed do not necessarily match up with the stories of the siblings of the girls who were actually killed.

Marian Fisher had a younger sister named Barbie (age 10) who very well could have been the basis for the character of Katie Graber, but Barbie was actually wounded in the massacre and had volunteered to take the 2nd bullett after her sister. The fact that Katie escaped unharmed is just a small change, and she could still be the basis for that character. The Fisher sisters also had six other siblings who were not in the movie possibly for convienience sake

Anna Stoltzfus had a sister named Sarah who survived the attack, but they werethe same age. I have no evidence if they were actually twins, but they were both listed as age 12 at the time of the shooting. This could be the basis for Rebecca Knepp, but it appears very loose.

I found nothing on the parents of the children, I'm assuming the dramatization of Mrs. Graber was merely for the purpose of the movie.

The names Fisher, Stoltzfus and Miller seem to be very common throughout the community (many maiden names, etc.) there was another Stoltzfus girl who was wounded but not a sister to Anna or Sarah.

Does anybody else have any info on this topic that they'd like to add?

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At the start of the movie there is a blurb that says:

Based on a true story.

However, certain events and characters have been fictionalized including the Graber family.

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Interesting that the oldest girl was in reality "Marian." Did anyone else catch in the hospital how the girl said "Mary Ann volunteered to take the first bullet" not Mary Beth? I wonder if that was an intentional goof as a nod to the real life heoine Marian.

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http://www.amazon.com/Happening-Nickel-Mines-School-Tragedy/dp/1885270704

I suggest reading this book. This is the book that the movie was based on but the book is much more factual than the movie.

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The important thing is the fact that the movie basically told the story of the community's reaction to the tragedy. One expects a little "poetic license" in a movie.

Life, every now and then, behaves as though it had seen too many bad movies

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SO then basically this movie is fake except for the fact that several gals were killed by Charlie Roberts.....Waste of film an time. Tell the real story and don't waste peoples time.

Yes it was a great movie untill i found out 99 percent of this film in FAKE!


You Ask-I Answer-You Decide

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Wow, A-Deo-et-Rege, you must have flunked math in school. Even if what you say were to be true, a lot more than 54 seconds of the film were accurate.

However, the forgiveness and reconciliation are also true. The depiction of Amish life and Amish faith is true. The names of people in such events are often changed to avoid embarrassment to those people. The number of siblings might not be accurate...big deal and hardly something to reduce the value of the movie.

The Graber story was speculative and not deserving of being called fake. Maybe none of the parents of the slain children had arguments with the forgiveness of Charlie Roberts and his family, but it seems likely to me that one would have reacted as Mrs. Graber is portrayed as having reacted. The Amish, as I understand it, aren't that open with the rest of us, so we probably wouldn't have been told if one mother reacted that way.

Anyway, the speculative part was necessary to bring out the important theme of forgiveness. Without out it, we would not have had our doubts and disagreement with the value of forgiveness addressed.

It's sad that you consider the showing of the act of forgiveness and reconciliation a waste of time.
Life, every now and then, behaves as though it had seen too many bad movies

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eightyyearoldguy: "The Graber story was speculative and not deserving of being called fake. Maybe none of the parents of the slain children had arguments with the forgiveness of Charlie Roberts and his family, but it seems likely to me that one would have reacted as Mrs. Graber is portrayed as having reacted."
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I'm not enjoying any of her depiction. She is supposed to be something for the viewer to 'relate to' but it is absolute bunk. I'm totally unaffiliated with the Amish, but I have crossed paths with the fundamentally religious such as this.

She is angry at others who lost their children as well. She is not a character to relate to. This man lost his daughter too, yet once again, in Hollywood terms, because he doesn't agree with her, he is to be mocked and told he is weak.

I would have preferred an Amish community depiction, not a woman who feels she has to say she wants to think and feel as she wants. They do think and feel as they want.

And all this stuff with these press people saying they don't see how to forgive so easily?

Could have been a better movie than this.

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But her depiction adds to the story. She is also someone many can relate to. For example, there are people who are part of religions who practice shunning who have most likely disagreed with the decision to shun a friend or relative. This aspect of the movie provided them with a basis for examining their own feelings and to either support Ida's views or not.

You say Ida was angry at others who lost their children as well. Yes, that is true, but remember she expressed anger at one of her friends well before the shooting. So she was already having difficulties with many of them over her sister being shunned. Their forgiveness toward the murderer and his family simply added to her anger.

As for Ida calling her husband weak, remember that he did not support her views regarding everyone's beliefs about and treatment of her sister. Now, he does not speak out against others forgiveness of the murderer and his family. There is no effort here by Hollywood to show a man as weak. This movie showed him to be strong for what is right.

Lastly, yes the Amish do think and feel as they want, but the media did truly try to put forth the picture that some of the Amish must not want to forgive. Why? Because some in the media did not think it proper to forgive. This movie simply puts that possibility forward, but it shows the woman to be mistaken in her view. This might cause many viewers to think that, even if some disagreed with forgiving the murderer and his family they, like Ida realized that forgiveness is the best and right thing to do. Ida returns to her family and community believing that they are right about the matter of forgiveness. It is not stated, but I think she most likely realized that what was done toward her sister is right also.

"Do All Things For God's Glory"-1 Corinthians 10:31
I try doing this with my posts

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