THESIS: “Having not just two cultures, but two time zones”. Weir, the director of the film Witness, cleverly used juxtaposition to divide the two overlapping worlds. The dichotomy in the contemporary American society and the idealised representation of Amish people, and their dissimilar values and morals are powerfully shown visually. Linking Sentence from the intro
Weir speculates the attitudinal divide of the values and morals of the two worlds. He focuses in the conflict of cultures and social values that they represent. In Book’s world there is only individuality; we see this in Book’s relationship with his sister and his sister’s dysfunctional family, on the other hand, the Amish are portrayed as tight-knit, morally upright community; we see this through the symbolic nature of the bell, which can unite the whole community. Weir utilises the power of lens, especially in close-ups, point of view shots and framing shots of key events, using doors and windows to direct visual attention. Lighting is a crucial element in the establishment of atmosphere, mood and shape anticipation. Jarre’s soundtrack uses a recurring anthem motif at key scenes in the narrative. Opening Scene Analysis
* We see the Amish people often within the area of their land, working; this can be regarded as conveying the agricultural importance of the land of the Amish. * The cinematography utilises the natural beauty of the landscape. This is emphasised through wide angle shots, such as fields of corn swaying with the soundtrack. * At the funeral, we see the Amish people jammed in the frame, this strengthens the idea of how the Amish are very community oriented. This also suggests that the Amish people have “no personal space”. * The twilight scene with the horse and the buggy represents their repetitive daily lives.
* Wide shots of the beautiful Amish landscape in broad daylight are juxtaposed to the English world shown as either crowded or at...
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