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Peter Weir Witness Essay

690 words - 3 pages

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Peter Weir’s 1985 film Witness is its representation of the collision of two different worlds; that of the mainstream American society – presented as a disconnected and violent urban world, and the pacifist world of the Pennsylvanian Amish community. Each of these worlds has their own unique culture and it is through the meeting of these two cultures that meaning is made within the text. In particular, the Amish culture is treated with sensitivity throughout the film, thus conveying a message of tolerance and acceptance of differences. When considered in light of the film’s context, this is a remarkably striking message for a film composed in the 1980s ...view middle of the document...

Consequently, it is important to pay attention to all aspects of the scene and how these aspects shape meaning:
The film Witness utilizes the idea of point of view through use of various camera angles and shots to convey different meanings throughout the film. In a way, the director Peter Weir used the camera as the narrator of the film, manipulating what the audience sees on the screen through those deliberate camera perspectives.
One of the more notable scenes, in which Rachel bathes Book's wounds, epitomizes the idea of the camera as the narrator in the film Witness. Lighting, music, and camera angles are utilized to convey meaning in the scene. Throughout the film, Weir uses the camera, lighting, music, and silent facial expressions and movements, often completely replacing dialogue in many of the scenes in Witness.
Further use of unspoken communication is seen in close-ups, a key element for conveying inner thoughts and general meanings in Witness. Close ups used during the...

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