Mennonite documentary premieres Aug. 30

Published Aug 23, 2014 at 4:00pm

LOWVILE — A premiere documentary film screening of “Simple Servants: The Story of the Lewis County Mennonites” is Saturday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. at the Lowville Town Hall Theater.

The 45-minute documentary, commissioned by the Adirondack Mennonite Historical Association and written, produced and directed by Dawson Grau, tells the story of the Lewis County Mennonites. In 1833, the first Mennonites came to Lewis County from Europe and settled in Croghan.

The showing is free. There will be a question-and-answer panel with the filmmaker.

Grau is a documentary filmmaker and actor based in Los Angeles, Calif., whose family roots trace back to the original Lewis County Mennonite settlers. He spent more than a year completing the documentary, researching local and national sources on Mennonite heritage and history, and searching through thousands of photos from local Mennonite historians, church archives and the Lewis County Historical Society.

“Simple Servants” features traditional hymns used in Mennonite worship and Americana folk music, played by pianist Jacqueline Schwab, who is known for her work on several award-winning Ken Burns’ documentaries. Schwab will perform in concert at the Aug. 30 event.

The film is narrated by Jerry Reed of Whitesboro.