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The bishops’ criticisms reflect “the very tensions that are at the core of this story,” he said, which he described as the conflict between Hutterite traditions and rules, and some colony members’ efforts to remain devout while adapting to 21st-century society.
The Hutterites are Protestants similar to the Amish and Mennonites who live a life centered on their religion, but unlike the others, Hutterites live in German-speaking communes scattered across Northern U.S. states and Canada.
“American Colony” depicts members of the 59-member King Ranch commune, located more than 100 miles from Billings, Mont., as drinking alcoholic beverages and cursing. Some parents are shown questioning their faith’s tenets, while a restless teenager flouts rules on dress and dating.
Hutterites are “a culture that 75 percent of Americans never have heard about. That should have been interesting enough,” said Mary-Ann Kirkby, a member of the faith who lives in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She wrote the 2010 memoir, “I Am Hutterite.”
“To then make them act completely out of character for your own ends shows a great lack of judgment and decency,” said Ms. Kirkby, who said she has had detailed discussions with the bishops about the show and their concerns.
• Compiled from Web and wire reports
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