Film review of "WITNESS" and the Amish community

Essay by aliyus July 2004

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This essay on community is a report on the movie "Witness". In this movie, an Amish boy witnesses a murder. The rest of the movie outlines his story. It also shows us various aspects of Amish life.

The movie involves the Amish community. The Amish originated from Switzerland in the 18th century. Amish people avoid strangers and live with each other. Their main occupation is farming. They live very simple lives. All teenagers attend a Sunday evening "sing". They wear very simple clothes. Amish women and girls wear modest dresses made from solid-colored fabric with long sleeves and a full skirt. They never cut their hair, which they wear in a bun on the back of the head. On their heads they wear a white prayer covering if they are married and a black one if they are single. Amish women do not wear jewelry.

Men and boys wear dark-colored suits, trousers with suspenders, solid-colored shirts, black socks and shoes, and black or straw broad-brimmed hats.

They do not have mustaches, but they grow beards after they marry.

The Amish feel these clothes encourage humility and separation from the world. Their clothing is an expression of their faith.

They do not use cars. They think that using cars will make them show of their possessions. This is against their faith. However they do ride in other people's cars. They use horses for their own transport. In the movie, we see the Amish traveling to the city on a horse cart. They also eat simple food.

In the movie there is a boy called Samuel. He is an Amish child who is going to the city for the first time with his mother. They have to wait at the train station for a while. There, in a bathroom Samuel witnesses a...