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Rock Street, San Francisco

The first main event in ???witness??? is the murder of the Policeman by a corrupt Cop, McFee. Samuel, an innocent Amish boy witnesses this event. The second main event in the film is when John Book and McFee have a shootout and John is shot. John is then nursed back to health in the Amish community where he can also hide and protect Samuel at the same time. The third main event and the climax of the film is the big shootout at the end where the three corrupt Policemen come to kill John and Samuel. The Policemen are finally defeated because of the strength of the Amish community.
Setting is clearly important from the opening sequence. The Amish community is revealed first. The strength of the community is illustrated with a visual metaphor in the opening sequence when a group of Amish men, women and children rise up from behind and into a field of Corn. This not only emphasises their unity but also their harmony with the land. The music used in this sequence is slow paced. This reflects the Amish pace of life as they reject technology. Conformity is an important issue in the Amish community. Everyone dresses very plainly and no one takes pride in what they wear. This suggests that they have very strict rules that everyone has to follow.
Peter Weirs depiction of the city is in complete contrast with the Amish community, particularly because it is seen through he eyes of an innocent child.
A key scene that shows the violence in the city best is where Samuel witnesses a brutal murder in a toilet in the train station. The tension begins with the music. The music begins when Samuel witnesses the murder through a gap in the cubicle door. It is very tense and the fast beat of the music mirrors the beat of Samuels heart. This emphasises his fear.
During this scene we are introduced to McFee one of the main characters and the murderer. Weir makes this an extremely brutal scene to highlight his view of the city. After the murder has been committed McFee is unexpectedly in no rush to escape. He casually straightens his tie and washes his hands. This symbolises McFee washing his guilt away.
Another key scene is where Samuel is almost caught. Weir uses a number of close ups during this scene to emphasise the fear in Samuels eyes and his loss of innocence. Everything in this scene is done with split second timing to build tension. For example, Samuel locks the door just in time. He then jumps onto the toilet just as McFee looks. He then grabs his hat off the floor just as McFee opens the door. This highlights the tension in this scene
As the tension rises Book is the one displaced, forced to stay in the Amish community to recover from a gunshot wound and to protect Samuel Lapp. We now see the clash through Books eyes. The Amish community is very different from the city. They have to follow strict rules or they could be shunned. Unlike the city, the Amish community is deeply religious and is full of hardworking people. When Book first arrives in the Amish community, the audience immediately realises he is going to disrupt the peace as he crashes into a dovecot. Doves symbolise peace, so by knocking the dovecot over, this highlights the peace being disrupted. Book also brings danger to the community, represented by the gun.
Whilst staying in the Amish community, Book takes a break from Policing and we find out at this point in the film that he is also an expert in carpentry.
Book sees the Amish community as a peaceful, hardworking place. During the barn-raising scene this is highlighted by the use of peaceful music and props.
The way the setting is used at the end is crucial in helping to resolve the film and in helping us to understand the films themes.
The setting changes dramatically at the beginning of the shootout from a peaceful place to a dangerous one. The gun symbolises the danger. He change is highlighted when the car slowly comes up the hill. The music at this point in the film is extremely tense.
As the three corrupt Cops walk down he hill into Lapp farm, it is in complete contrast to the start of the film where the Amish people walk down the same road bringing something good to Rachel where as now the Cops are bringing Danger.
At the end of the shootout we find out that John is leaving. This is shown most clearly when he puts the dovecot back up. This symbolises him restoring the peace in the community by leaving. Another clue we get to hint that John is leaving is when he changes back into his city clothes. This suggests he is leaving as he looks out of place.
Weir leaves he audience with mixed emotions at the end of the film. The main message he leaves us with is that the forbidden love between John and Rachel should stay forbidden, as life would be very hard if they stayed together. This is the main reason why we accept it in the end.
In conclusion setting is very important in ???witness??? as we are given a sensitive picture of an unusual way of life. The contrast between the two settings helps us to understand the main themes of the film.

The Central theme in the film ???Witness??™ is ???seeing??™.
? Discuss the various ways of seeing that are
presented by the director, Peter Weir.

In this piece coursework I will be writing about what mainly happens in the film. Secondly I will be writing about the opening scene of the film and also about the murder at Philadelphia Station. Also I would be writing about the Amish community who are the main people in the film. Lastly, I will write about the conflict between the Amish and the modern World. The main theme in the film is about witnessing and seeing. Witness means someone who has seen an event such as an accident and can describe what happened. Seeing means to employ ones sight especially in a given direction or a given object.

The plot of the film is that Rachel has a husband that passes away. After the funeral ceremony Rachel and Samuel go to the Station to get to the big city. When Rachel and Samuel get to Philadelphia Station there train gets delayed by three hours. When Samuel goes to the toilet he witnesses a murder. When the police arrived at the scene of the crime, Samuel gets questioned and is taken to the police station. Samuel then finds a picture of a police officer who he recognised as the murderer. The police man that Samuel saw was corrupted for his job. His name was Mc Fee. Jhon Book goes to the chief police??™s house and tells him about the murderer Mc Fee. The only people that knew now were Jhon Book, Shaffler (chief police) and Samuel. As the story develops, at the car lot Mc Fee starts to shoot at Jhon Book. Jhon Book gets shot but survives. Jhon Book tells his partner, Carter, about everything that happened and told him to get rid of Rachel and Samuel??™s files so the Shaffler can??™t get his hands on it. Jhon Book then drops off Rachel and Jhon Book to? Baltimore. As Jhon Book leaves, he faints because of the blood loss from his leg were he had been shot by Mc Fee. The Amish community helped Jhon Book with his hounds. Jhon Book starts to work with the Amish community. As the film moves on Jhon Book makes a phone call to Carter and asks him if it??™s safe to come back to the police station. As the film develops Jhon Book starts to fall in love with Rachel and they have an affair. Back at the police station Carter gets questioned on the whereabouts of Jhon Book. Later on in the film Jhon Book calls in to the police station and finds out that Carter is dead. Shaffler and his men find out the whereabouts of Jhon Book and come to kill him. When Shaffler gets there he gets killed by Jhon Book and also Shaffler??™s men get killed. At the end of the film Jhon Book leaves Rachel and goes home.

In the first part of the film. The first part of the credits it is written ???Paramount Pictures Presents??™ in the middle of the screen with big bold writing. The credits are in white and the background is in black. After this, the names of the actors appear where the font is bigger. The credits are extremely affective in the way it is laid out because of the contrast between the two colours. I think the director used opposite colours because throughout the film things were opposite. I think the director done this because he is giving a clue to the viewers and also he is foreshadowing the events that are to come later in the film.

The film moves from the credits to an image where there is countryside with green wheat blowing in the winds. I think the image in the beginning is appropriate because most of the film is based around the countryside where the Amish community lives. The Amish community are very simple and non-violent country people.

As the film develops, the Amish people are introduced to the film but they are distanced so the viewers cannot see exactly what they are like. I think the director does this because he??™s trying to tell the viewers that the Amish community is far away from the western world. The director is trying to create the affect that the Amish people are very secretive and very independent.

As the story moves on the Amish people walk towards the camera gradually. Also the director shows the viewers the type of transport that the Amish community use which is horses and carriages.

The music at the beginning of the film is very slow and also it is not very loud. The music is very mysterious and the effect it gives to me is curiosity. Also the music is very smooth and calm. Then the music starts to get louder and more instruments get introduced for example, the trumpet. I think the trumpet made the music very different because the music got deeper. I think the music is appropriate to the Amish because they are mysterious towards the western world.

In this paragraph I will be writing about the murder at Philadelphia Station. At Philadelphia Station when Rachel??™s told that her train has been delayed. The director makes a close up shot of Samuel playing and exploring the water fountain. Samuel is very excited to see things like this because he had never seen anything like it. The scene at the beginning when Rachel and Samuel make their way towards the waiting area the camera angle is low, this makes Rachel and Samuel stand out. I think the director did this because Rachael and Samuel are the main characters in the film. Samuel then goes off on a walkabout to explore the station.

The camera??™s angle is at samuel??™s height and everything around him is very big. It makes Samuel look significant. As he walks up to a man and looks up at him, the man looks very big to him. This also makes Samuel look very significant. Samuel carries on walking around the station and he lays his eyes on an angel holding a lifeless body. The camera shot being used was an over the shoulder shot. This is an example of foreshadowing because later on in the film someone dies, also it suggests that Samuel will be in great danger later on in the film. Then there was a camera shot from the angle onto Samuel suggesting that the angel would help him and it also suggests that Samuel is very small.

When Samuel goes to the toilet the director gives a shot showing Rachel and Samuel. Also it shows that Samuel is isolated as he walks towards the toilet alone. This builds up the tension as he walks away. As he walks away Samuel gets smaller and smaller, this makes him look more vulnerable and this builds up the tension even more. Also there are no people around at Philadelphia Station. When Samuel gets to the toilet the volume of the water drops and footsteps get louder and this builds up the tension.

The murder scene, I think was filmed brilliantly because when one of the murderers took the knife out, the music started at a fast pace. This makes the viewers very interested in the film. Then the camera takes an extreme close up Samuel??™s eye. Samuel??™s eye was the most important part of the film because he saw the murder, he witnessed it. If this did not happen he could not have been the witness. This is how it is linked to the title ???Witness??™. Samuel witnesses more than one thing. He sees a police officer being killed and he also gets to know how the outside world acts.? 

I think the search for Samuel was also filmed well because when Samuel made a noise, Mc Fee hears it and starts to check the toilets. The camera focuses on Samuel every time the door opens and closes. He does not lock the door, but eventually he does it in time. As Mc Fee gets closer and closer Samuel gets more and more scared. The music used for this scene is very good for this scene because the music is very fast and also very dramatic. Also as Samuel makes a quick escape the music gets slower and the tension builds up. The music used for the murder scene creates the effect of suspense. I think if the director had not used the music, the murder scene would not have been as interesting or as dramatic as it was portrayed.

The Amish community are very unique and unlike the modern world. The Amish community call the outsider the ???English??™. The Amish community are very different. They would not use phones or modern technology like the modern world. The Amish community are very independent, they are also very plain in the clothes they wear and they would not wear clothes with buttons on them. Another weird factor about the Amish community is that an Amish man who is married would have to keep a beard and the men who are not married would have to shave their beards.

The Amish community do not like to mix with people from the outside world. They think that all modern things would bring evil upon the Amish community. If a person breaks a Amish rule they would be shunned from the community. There are many conflicts between the Amish community and the modern world.

I think that the film ???Witness??™ is very good because the storyline is very interesting, also the acting is very good and the filming was brilliant. I think that the best part of the film was the quality of the filming. However, I think the film was a bit slow at the beginning, but overall the film was exciting and entertaining.

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