'Witness' - Peter Weir

1707 WordsJun 6, 20117 Pages
English Essay – ‘Witness’ by Peter Weir The 1985 film witness, directed by Peter Weir is a crime/drama that develops the theme of conflict on a social, cultural and personal level. These areas of conflict are highlighted through the use of film techniques such as; camera shots, camera angles, lighting and costume. The film outlines the contrast between mainstream American society and the Amish community in regional Pennsylvania. While American society is seen as a violent and arrogant group of people, whereas the Amish are seen to be a peaceful, religious group of people. In this film the Amish perceive the mainstream American society to be called the ‘English’. The reason for this is the Amish originated in England so they believe that…show more content…
The director portrays this like an old western shoot-out, because Book is walking away then holsters his pistol in a shoot-out type fashion. We see rapid mid-range shots between Book and McPhee which gives us the feeling of a fast paced action movie. This leaves Book wounded and in a state of shock. Book then flees to the Amish hideout with Rachel and Samuel because it is no longer safe in Boston. Book is cared for by the Amish by using traditional herbal teas and remedies. One morning, Book awakes to find Samuel holding his gun and yells ‘don’t move’ with an outburst of anger. Book removes the bullets and allows for Samuel to hold it. Rachel walks in and sees that Samuel is in possession of the gun and sends him downstairs. Book now creates a personal conflict because he knows that he should not have let Samuel get his hands on the gun because violence is against their beliefs, and morally no children of any culture should be in contact with guns. Book also knows that he is the protector and he needs to nurture Samuel but not expose him to the ways of the ‘English’. As the plot progresses we see the growing love interest between Book and Rachel develop. In particular where Book is trying to start the car in the barn and Rachel joins him. The car starts, the radio fires up and the DJ announces ‘What A Wonderful World’ to the excitement of Book. Book invites Rachel to dance where they sing and have a great time until Eli walks in.
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