Des Moines Register photographer Thomas DeFeo captured this iconic image of Iowa Amish children escaping into a cornfield. The photo and story were published around the world. Photo Copyright Des Moines Register.
A $7,819 grant from Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area will fund a portion of Fourth Wall Film's short documentary film The Amish Incident: Conflict and Compromise, about a 1965 attempt to bus Amish students to schools in Buchanan County, Iowa. The Moline Foundation is the fiscal sponsor on the project.
A Des Moines Register photographer captured a photo of Amish children fleeing local authorities by running into a cornfield, and the dramatic picture was reprinted in papers throughout the nation and world, Mr. Rundle said.
"When shooting footage for Country School: One Room - One Nation (another award-winning film Fourth Wall did in 2010), we did several interviews connected to that story, but we decided not to include that in Country School," he said.
"It was a tug of war between Amish, who steadfastly opposed being integrated into public education, and school officials trying to enforce Iowa law," Mr. Rundle said. "The resolution of the conflict is key to why the Amish have remained and thrived in Iowa."
The Nov. 20, 1965, photo produced "bad optics" for the state, as the "Amish were looked at as peaceful, productive people," the director said. "It's a fascinating little story I think a lot of people don't know about."
The Rundles are the producers of the regional Emmy® nominated historical documentaries Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT-PBS), Country School: One Room – One Nation, River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, and the award-winning Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (co-produced with Garry McGee), Lost Nation: The Ioway series and Villisca: Living with a Mystery.
Their new docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder will be released in the winter of 2018. A special Silos & Smokestacks sneak preview of The Amish Incident: Conflict and Compromise will take place in November 2018 at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center. More details will be shared later.
To order your copy of the award-winning and Emmy-nominated Country School: One Room - One Nation, visit https://www.fourthwallfilms.com/dvds.htm.