Witness By Peter Weir

870 Words4 Pages
The film ‘Witness’ directed by Peter Weir remains a classic after 25 years of time, it is a visually impressive film enhanced by evocative cinematography and haunting soundtrack. The values, themes and issues of the Amish and the ‘English’ worlds discussed in the film has an enduring appeal to the audience so that we can relate these ideas to our own society generation after generation. In showing the audience a world we would usually be shut out from, ‘Witness’ have the power to inspire and uplift us, where we respond positively to the strong work ethic and spirit of cooperation displayed by the Amish. Weir conveys these ideas by contrasting the two cultures through the highly effective use of juxtaposition, mise-en-scene and various camera techniques. He presents the traditional, wholesome and non-violent values of the Amish in stark contrast to the selfish, consumer driven materialism of the ‘English’ society and the violent associated with it. Weir shows how peaceful and natural the Amish world is in the opening scene. Long-panning shots of the corn fields are shown to be peaceful and serene, glittering like an ocean in the breeze, this represents their simple, peaceful and natural way of life. Music in the opening scene is soft, soothing and calming which also emphasises the peaceful and simplistic lifestyle of the Amish and highlights the differences between the Amish and the ‘English’ way of life. Long shot of the Amish standing in a line slowly walking up the hill makes the audience to think that as if they came from the centre of earth, which contributes to the idea that they are peaceful, natural and belongs to the rural land, standing in a line and wearing the same styled and coloured clothing shows conformity and unity in their community. Furthermore, the plain black costuming of the Amish and the music, which can also be described as haunting,

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