Witness: Amish World Essay

868 WordsMay 27, 20134 Pages
The thriller film ‘Witness’, directed by Peter Weir in 1985, tells about cultural conflicts between the Amish of Western Pennsylvania and Modern American corruption and violence. Philadelphia Police officer, John Book was obligated to hide from the three brutally and corrupt police officers as they were looking for a little Amish boy, Samuel Lapp. The boy witnessed the brutal killings and identified the killer as the three police officers. The ‘Witness’ strongly displayed many images of people and incorporated several techniques and images in various scenes to portray the contrast between two different worlds. The scene depicts the peaceful and calm surroundings of the Amish. This is most apparent in the scene where a slow panning…show more content…
The journey of Rachel and Samuel Lapp to Boston to visit Rachel’s sister becomes quite an experience. The varieties of camera shots give the audience Samuel’s perspective of Philadelphia station. Harsh and loud noises from large crowd contrasts with the high level angle shot of people walking around independently in the train station, increase the individualism of the modern world. In contrast, Amish community is a collective group. Within the murder scene at Pennsylvania train station, Samuel, a young, innocent and naive Amish boy views a horrific murder. The close up shot of Samuel’s terrified eyes is strongly contrasted with the camera shots were moving back and forth from Samuel’s face and the horrific event happening in front of him, the shots kept increasing in speed demonstrating Samuel’s beating heart. This is an unnatural scene to Samuel, one he would never have to experience within his Amish world. This emphasises the culture different views on violence in such a violent way. In the Amish society everyone is considered to be equal and taking of another people’s life will be shunned. However, this scene reinforces that violence has no place within the Amish culture, whereas the Western world would resort to whatever is necessary. Weir’s choices of urban

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