Peter Weir, Witness Essay Closing Sequence

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Discuss the central concerns and themes of Witness and how various film techniques are used to in closing scenes of the movie.

Witness is a Hollywood film that was directed by Peter Weir in 1985. It’s a story about an Amish boy who witnesses a murder on his trip to the big city. Weir in the closing scenes is able to show through different themes, various techniques of sound, camera and lighting to correspond the Amish community, their connection to the land and disconnection from society. The main themes conveyed in this movie include violence vs. pacifism, community vs. individualism, moral judgement vs. personal choice, the clash of cultures and innocence and purity vs. corruption.
At the start of the closing sequence of the film,
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At the start of the film, Book would have never had chosen non-violent means to solve a problem and he would have never would have left his individualistic ways to be a part of a community.
A theme of moral judgement vs. personal choice is also shown in this seen when Book grabs Eli and Samuel questioning about Schaeffer’s morality of his actions. This again highlights what people think is right and what is right. It shows how Book has now seen the advantages of doing the moral thing, instead of doing your own thing.
The close-up camera shot of Schaeffer giving Book the gun, putting his hands up in the air and sitting on the ground symbolises how he has been made to repent and see the error of his ways. The camera close-up shows the audience them emotion and woefulness Schaeffer

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