“Pure” – the CBC drama – Episode 4

My comments on previous episodes of “Pure”are at Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3. I have also commented on Episode 5 and Episode 6.

Most of episode 4 relates to the crime drama and introduces little new about the life and culture of the Low German Mennonites. The plot continues with its plausibility shortcomings, and introduces an additional layer of corrupt police detectives. One plausibility concern is why Noah Funk is ordering Low German Mennonite caskets for the two bikers killed by other bikers. These are two Ausländer (non-Low German Mennonites) with their own families and community. How are these deaths to be kept secret?


From Episode 4 of CBC’s “Pure”

The funeral scene for the two Low German Mennonite men who died in the plane transporting the drugs is the one new Low German Mennonite cultural scene. Of course the burials were illegal since no permits were received.

There was no church funeral service, but I suppose that is excused by the necessary secrecy for these particular burials. The theology expressed by Preacher Noah Funk in his brief remarks does not reflect theology of Old Order Mennonites or Amish or any traditional Low German Mennonite theology. His comments seemed to imply there was still hope for the men who had died; this would not be the case for traditional Mennonites. None of these groups would ask a  layperson to lead in prayer at the graveside. Closing the graveside service with the Doxology (“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow”) seems unusual. Some Mennonites use this hymn to close regular Sunday worship services, but it is not generally associated with funerals. And they sang it way too fast for a traditional Mennonite group.

The cemetery itself looks most like an Old Order Amish cemetery, but could pass for an Old Colony Mennonite cemetery which also feature simple markers.

The most objectionable part of this series continues to be the mashing of Low German Mennonite, Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite culture. No Low German Mennonites in Canada use horses and buggies and lack electricity in their homes.

To better understand the complexity and reality of Ontario Mennonites, read In Search of Promised Lands: a Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario.

11 thoughts on ““Pure” – the CBC drama – Episode 4

  1. Pingback: CBC, the Fifth Estate and the Mennonite Mob | In Search of Promised Lands

  2. Can you stop calling them Low German Mennonites it’s completely wrong.
    Low German is the language called Plautdeutsch.
    These people belong to a Old Order Mennonite Community. Sometimes called Conservatist Mennonite but mostly Old Order. If you are going to try to sound like a expert maybe you should try learning something


    • The language they are attempting to speak is Low German. The story is a Low German Mennonite story imposed on a group that look more like Old Order Mennonites. “Pure” is a mashup of the two. They are more Low German Mennonite than they are Old Order Mennonite. The fact that the CBC entertainment department now calls them Old Order Mennonite does not make them so.


  3. Pingback: “Pure” – the CBC drama – Episode 6 | In Search of Promised Lands

  4. Hi I am a low German Mexican Mennonite, I Have internet, a phone, electricity, a new vehicle. How can you say low Germans lack these things. Almost all Mexican Mennonites have these things. Even our churches have electricity. You are mistaking us for the Amish. There are some Mennonites that live the way you say, but barley any do. Just look at all the congregations in Canada and you will find you’re self incorrect.


    • John, I think you are misunderstanding what I’m saying in my comments. The program “Pure” implies that Low German Mennonites do not have electricity, phones, cars, etc. My point is that they are making Low German Mennonites appear to be like Old Order Mennonites and Old Order Amish. Therefore the program is confusing in what it portrays. It is not fair either to Low German Mennonites or to Old Order Mennonites.


      • Sorry I Misread your comments, Now I understand. Thank you. You some interesting articles about our people on this website.


  5. Pingback: Pure — the CBC drama – Episode 5 | In Search of Promised Lands

  6. Pingback: “Pure” — the CBC Drama | In Search of Promised Lands

  7. Pingback: “Pure” — the CBC Drama – Episode 2 | In Search of Promised Lands

  8. Pingback: “Pure” — the CBC Drama – Episode 3 | In Search of Promised Lands

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