Module B: Close Study of Text
‘Witness’, an American film, directed by Australian director Peter Weir, is a film set in 1985 about a clash of modern American society, and an idyllic Amish community. Maeri Saeli describes it as “the two worlds meet, but never merge” as shown in the interaction between ideas, characters and techniques that make an impact on the audience. This concept is developed through the exploration of the ideas of violence verses non-violence/ pacifism verses direct action as well as the clash of cultures. By employing both literary and film techniques, weir is able to successfully ………..(insert question)…………..
Violence versus non-violence is represented through the clashing of the two cultures and the differences of their cultural values and ideals. The modern American society, where Book is originally situated is evidently a society that uses much violence to achieve things whenever necessary. This type of society is visually implied by Peter Weir as being corrupted, seedy and violent in nature which is shown through darkness, and filming is often conducted under the cover of night, in crowded and cramped spaces, and by using artificial lighting. For example the scene conducted at the Happy Valley night club, where Book grabs a suspect from a crapmed and sorded bar, portrays the violent and depressive society in which they live. The shocked faces of Samuel and Rachel who wait inside a light blue car - which represents their purity and innocence during this situation, is contrasted with the dark, violent and ‘foreign’ society that surrounds them. As this light coloured car is owned by Book, it is also suggestive that although he uses violence, Book is a good and moral man at heart which is revealed throughout the film.
Another example of this individualistic and violent society is shown through the ignorance and misinterpretation by Book, of Schaeffer’s nature. Schaeffer is Books boss, ‘friend’ and loyal family man, who...