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Witness Essay

By | April 2013
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Distinctive ideas are at heart of every play or film
In your view, what is a distinctive idea explored in Witness? Explain how this idea is developed throughout the text?

“Distinctive ideas are at heart of every play or film”. The notion of distinctive ideas being at the heart of every play or film is certainly evident in the film Witness, composed by Peter Weir. Weir successfully conveys many themes and issues throughout his film. His film comprises several ideas, each highly significant. One idea explored in Witness is the “clash of two cultures”: the insular world of the Amish with the crime and corruption of the outside world. The use of dialogues, camera techniques and characters further emphasise the distinctive idea that permeates the film through scenes such as “the Journey”, “Breaking the Rules” and “Right of Way”. (I’m not going to even re-read this as I gave you feedback about this paragraph on Friday) The term, “clash of two cultures”, is often used to describe the kind of discomfort individuals feel when they move into an unfamiliar social.environment. The ideas, values and habits to which these individuals are accustomed, challenge or contradict the ideas, values and customs of the group or community they enter. InWeir’s film, the idealistic world of the Amish comes into conflict with the ugly sub-culture of police corruption, leading to internal conflict in their close knit community. The Amish also come into conflict within the local culture. When the key characters, Book and Rachel fall in love, the gap between cultures is further emphasised, driving the drama. A good paragraph.

The two cultures emphasised here are modern American society and the Amish Society. John Book fits the character of a stereotypical officer in a detective thriller. Rachael Lapp is a confident woman committed to her beliefs and chosen way of life. The clash of cultures, and the understanding that they can never merge, is represented through Book and Rachel’s...
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