Peter Weir creates the themes of conflict in cultures, violence and forbidden love in his film Witness. Through the use of many techniques such as camera shots, lighting, sounds effects and music, dramatic irony, and juxtaposition, Peter Weir successfully portrays these themes throughout his film Witness.
Weirs purpose of creating a theme of conflicting cultures is to make the audience aware of how impure the modern society has become. Throughout the film weir shows the Amish in a favourable light to emphasise the simplicity of their culture. The amish are introduced as a traditional christian culture that has been forced to bend their religion and beliefs due to modern society. This is evident in the opening scene with the amish moving together through the green barley contrasted with the pale blue skies. The use of soft music further associates the amish with ease and purity. Weir then shows this aspect of togetherness no longer exists in the modern world. The aspect of togetherness is highlighted througout the amish community and seen as a strength withing their community as evident in the defeat against shaefer in the final confrontation. The amish culture is contrasted with the modern world to create the theme of conflict in culture. The difference between the two cultures is displayed through violence and forbidden love.
Weir uses violence to show the significant contrast between the modern world and the Amish world. Within the murder scene at Pennsylvania train station, Samuel, a young, innocent and naive Amish boy views a horrific murder. The close up shot of Samuels terrified young eyes is strongly juxtaposed with the graphically depicted slitting of the victims throat. This is scene is unfarmiliar for Samuel one that he would have never experienced in the Amish world. This emphasises the contrast between the Amish and modern society.
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