An insight to the Pennsylvanian Amish community and English society is exposed throughout Weir’s film Witness, providing us with an understanding of the opposing ideologies within the two completely opposite societies. Weir powerfully demonstrates a contrasting perspective of the two communities through romance, dichotomy of values, the clash of the two cultures and violence. There is a clear division within the two different worlds and Weir effectively utilises various filmic techniques in order to portray their dissimilarities. We reassess our own values and beliefs as the suspense of the crime genre underpins the cultural boundaries in society.

Romance is heavily emphasized through the characters, Book and Rachel and the development of their relationship, progressing through the film. Weir utilises the low key lighting to create emphasis of romance in the scene where Rachel bathes metres away from Book who watches. No dialogue and eye contact between the two represent sexual tension but as Book turns away we are able to see that there are certain boundaries and hesitations within their ‘developing’ relationship. Forbidden love is further reinforced as it is clear that Daniel is preferred more over Book as Eli interrupts Book and Rachel in the hallway. The dimly lit hallway is a metaphor for Eli’s disapproval and rejection of their relationship. Eli’s German language acts as a cutting reminder of Rachel’s inappropriate behaviour and acts as a cultural boundary that separates her from Book. Rachel runs to Book in the last scenes of the film sharing a sensual and rough kiss, a representation of the clashing of the two cultures through romance. The mis en scene exemplifies the emotions between the two lovers and their physicality denotes a sexual desire that the lovers cannot fulfil due to the clash of cultures.
The clash of the two dissimilar societies, the English and Amish represent contrasting the values and characteristics of the two different worlds....