Identify One Interesting Character Represented in Witness. How Has Weir Used Film Techniques to Shape Your Response to the Character?

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English Essay

Question – Identify one interesting character represented in Witness. How has Weir used film techniques to shape your response to the character?

“Witness” by Peter Weir portrays several interesting characters. John Book is a prime example of these characters. Weir has incorporated several techniques in various scenes to shape John Book’s character traits. The “Barn Dance Scene”, the “Barn Raising Scene” and the “Showdown Scene” are crucial in understanding and analyzing John Book’s persona. The ideas of clash of cultures, love/passion, corruption and violence are evident through out the above mentioned scenes.

In the “Barn Dance Scene, Book tries to fix his car with Rachel’s help and turns the radio on. Him and Rachel dance to the 1950’s song “Don’t know much” until Eli interrupts and exchanges heated words with Rachel about disobeying their culture. This scene is significant in understanding Book’s persona as it expresses his growing fondness for Rachel. The music and lyrics of the song used in this scene helps to create a romantic mood hence enhancing Book’s growing passion for Rachel. As Book sings along with the song and leads Rachel into a dance, his love and how it’s portrayed in modern culture is highlighted. This helps to depict Book as a caring and loving person as contrasted to cold hearted cop. Close up shots of both characters are shown to the viewers in this scene. Close ups of Book while he dances with Rachel depict his emotions towards Rachel, the growing passion and the urge of not succumbing to love due to the opposing cultural values. This shot depicts Book’s persona as being a selfless man with a lot of respect and integrity for other cultures and values.

The lighting in this scene is very natural and romantic. The soft warm yellow lantern light helps set the romantic mood for this scene further revealing Book’s romantic side.. The lighting also creates a contrast with the car radio and car lighting. It once again...
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