Witness: Amish and Rachel

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Witness

The film witness is set in 1984 and was directed by an Australian director Peter Weir. The film depicts the cultural clashes between the American societies and the Amish community in Philadelphia. Peter Weir in his film uses many themes including identity, cultural clash, relationship and violence in order to ensure strong impact to the audience. The characters are the main tools in portraying these impacts to the audience.

An Amish woman Rachel Lapp and her 8 years old son Samuel experience a crime scene while waiting for a train to visit Rachel’s sister. However Samuel witnesses a murder in the restroom by two men. He hides himself in a stall so that he will not be detected by the murderer. Weir gives stronger impact and reality to the audience with showing the scene in Samuel’s eye view where darkening one side and being able to see with his right side only. John Book played by Harrison Ford is a policeman who is assigned to the murder case. Book takes Samuel to his police station so that Samuel can identify the murderer. Samuel points at a photo of McFee a police officer and points at the photo and tells Book that he was the one.

Book follows Rachel and Sam in order to protect them and to save himself from McFee. Book and Rachel stayed at Eli Lapp’s house while Book was getting healed by Rachel. Gradually Book and Rachel builds on their feelings towards each other. Weir portrays a theme called cultural clash between Book’s world and Amish culture. Book stays with the Rachel’s family he has no other fortress, in which the relationship with Rachel deepens after Book sees Rachel naked in the shower. This represents to the audience that Rachel has started to drift away from the Amish culture as she exposed herself to an outsider. Next day while Rachel was preparing for a meal, she notices Book fixing the post box. Then she decides to take off her cap and runs towards Book and started to kiss him. The act of Rachel taking off her cap can be...
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