Witness And The Opening Scenes Of Witness By Peter Weir

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Register to read the introduction… Their car goes up the hill looking down towards the house and then reverses back where the camera cannot see it. The lighting is set very dark and cloudy, set early in the morning. The road is in terrible shape with bumps everywhere looking dirty. This emphasises the theme of corruption. The dirty road and the dark sky in a way represent the big city, where there is a lack of innocence and purity.
The long camera shot of the corrupt police men walking towards the house resembles the way bad guys are depicted in cowboy movies. In these movies bad guys are shown riding or walking towards the sleepy, unsuspecting town or camp and the audience know that there will be a show down or a big final battle between them and the hero. Those movies also had dramatic music attended with it to also suggest impending doom.
Non-diegetic sounds are used when Book searches for the gun in the grain. Heavy imposing notes are incorporated into the sound track at this point in the film to emphasise that this is the climax bringing great excitement and anticipation amongst audiences. Also in this scene a close up of Books face is shown to emotionally bring audiences into the
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However, ironically Book ends up shooting Mcfee and he slides down the white barn wall. This shot brings themes of a clash of cultures and innocence and purity vs. corruption. It symbolises the earlier scene where Mcfee kills they guy in the bathroom. Film conventions show black people as the villains in films, so the shot of the black man (Mcfee), the white wall and the smear of blood shows a contrast in the clash of cultures and corruption ‘the English’ have brought into the Amish community.
When showing the Amish men responding to Samuel’s alarm and coming to help, Weir uses the same non-diegetic music as he did in the Barn-Raising scene. He does this to show a sense of victory and convey a theme of community. Bringing that safe and calm feeling to audiences just he did in the Barn raising scene. Also the cloud is no longer seen as the sun starts to shine which again emphasises this

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