Witness Essay

600 Words Aug 23rd, 2013 3 Pages
Peter Weir’s film, “Witness” reveals that besides our contemporary world, there are other “worlds” with their own values that are unique. These worlds conflict with the Western world through their variation in lifestyle. The Amish are a community of people who live peacefully in the midst of a robust, crime - riddled contemporary world. Weir presents a film that fits two genres, one of a crime and the other of romance. Within the first ten minutes of the film these two worlds it captures the differences of these two worlds through the use of cinematic techniques. The Amish world is introduced at the very start of the film where the opening visual fades in, to reveal a long shot showing the landscape. There
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The camera zooms into the carriage portraying the occupants to be Eli as the driver and Rachel and Samuel as the passengers. An overhead view gives way to long shots of beautiful country landscape and the horse-driven carriage as it is juxtaposed with the truck. The truck a symbolic representation of the modern world and a vehicle that is known to literally thunder its way like a bully on highways has to follow the carriage which was going at its own pace. This demonstrates that the Amish world behind it is not governed by time and will go the way they want. Through the close-ups of Eli, Rachel and Samuel, the audience sees the ‘glassed-in world’ of the Amish as being reclusive and imprisoned as opposed to the free world of faster vehicles.
Weir illustrates this sudden imposition of the American way when at the station while awaiting their train. An undershot of the train is gigantic and intimidating which dwarfs the Amish world. He is mesmerized by it all, ‘tours’ the train station. Accustomed to little angels in their books, Samuel is miniaturized by a gigantic figure of an angel. A high angle shot from behind the statue dwarfs Samuel symbolically highlighting the insignificance of their culture to the American way of life. Even among the Amish these worlds there are others who resemble different from the …

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