Witness Essay

Topics: Amish, Culture, Western culture Pages: 2 (540 words) Published: June 6, 2011
Essay question:
The development of characters is enhanced by Peter Weir’s film techniques? Discuss this statement with reference to witness The film Witness focuses on the clash of cultures, allowing Peter Weir to comment on the injustices of modern culture and the development of characters as a result. In the film Witness the Western World influences and changes the characters through the new experiences they face and encounter. Throughout the course of the film the Amish boy, Samuel Lapp undergoes many changes as he is influenced and corrupted by the horrors of the Western World as appose to the Amish culture which dwells on living a pacifist lifestyle within which he lives. The murder scene in Witness is critical to revealing the change of Samuel’s experiences from innocence to complete awareness of the horrors of the world. The close up of Samuel’s eye through the keyhole in the bathroom door reveals that we are seeing the course of events through his point of view and perspective on the situation. However in the bathroom scene Samuel witnesses a brutal murder which vicissitudes his character to one that has knowledge of the danger and violence in the Western World. The Western World’s morals and values of what is veracious and immoral are different to that of the Amish society. The Amish and John Book have different perceptions of justice as illustrated throughout the gun scene. In this scene both John Book and Eli reprimand Samuel when he touched the gun. The close up of Samuel handling the gun provokes contradictory responses from both John Book and Eli. John Book is concerned that the gun is loaded and hands Samuel the gun without bullets. To John Book the bullets symbolise the power to exert justice; the gun is purely the vessel like he is, from which justice can be delivered. The close up of Samuel directs the audience’s attention to the fact that it is Samuel whose mind is being influenced and challenged by his exposure to the western world. In...
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