The Opening Sequince of Witness by Peter Weir

Topics: Amish, Long shot, Witness Pages: 3 (958 words) Published: July 29, 2011
“Witness” is an American film made in 1985 produced by Australian film maker Peter Weir; he has successfully conveyed many themes, issues and concepts in this film. The opening scene of the film “Witness” establishes many features of the film. These features include the camera shots, camera angles, light, sound, and dialogue, positioning of characters and setting. The opening scene is significant as it examines the concepts of ; how the peaceful Amish communities are marginalised and isolated from the modern world; the sense of unity and affinity the Amish culture have with the land; and the contrast between the two different worlds of the slow paced and peaceful life style of the Amish and the fast paced, materialistic, hectic lifestyle of the modern world.

In the peaceful Amish community, the examination of marginalisation and isolation from the modern world in which they co- exist is examined. The Amish culture differ from modern day culture dramatically as they are virtually fundamentalists and live very simply and do not have any material goods as we do. The Amish people reject modern conveniences such as cars,, television, electricity and the telephone, living self sufficiently from the land working together to make everyday necessities such as their simple clothing, food, furniture and housing. Weir shows the audience that the alternate lifestyle of the Amish is not “weird”, but strangely enlightened. The terms isolated and marginalised are often used to describe the social process of becoming or being alienated from the society around them. When placed into the society in which they are marginalised the ideas, values, habits to which these individual Amish members are accustomed are challenged or contradicted by the ideas, values and customs of the modern day group or community they enter.

In the film "Witness" Peter Weir has created two different worlds with different value systems. The close up shot of individual Amish faces in the cramped...
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