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The Way We Played

It's spring 1992 and Bosnia is on the eve of war. Oblivious to the encroaching danger two friends Stevo and Ramiz play in the spring sunshine. They pretend to be pirates and look for treasure at a nearby abandoned fort. Instead of gold they find guns which causes an argument between the friends which mirrors the conflict moving ever closer to their door. When Stevo discovers that his father, a soldier in the Serb army, has instructions to kill Muslims in the village, he sneaks out to warn his friend Ramiz, but will it be too late?

Film Details

Duration 13 minutes 20 seconds
Director Samir Mehanovic
Production Brazen Hussies Ltd.
Year 2005
Genre Drama
Themes Friendship, Conflict, War, Religion, Citizenship
Curriculum Level 3
Curriculum Areas Literacy, English, Religious & Moral Education, Art & Design, Social Studies
Crew
  • Writer: Samir Mehanovic,
  • Producer: Susan Nickalls,
  • Editor: Tadgh O'sullivan,
  • Director of Photography: Scott Ward,
  • Sound: John Cobban & Marcelo De Oliveira,
  • Music: Nigel Osborne,
  • Associate Producer (Bosnia): Almir Sahinovic, Heft Doo,
  • Executive Producer: Nigel Smith
Cast
  • Stevo: Almir Mehanovic,
  • Ramiz: Eldar Zubcevic,
  • Bane: Jasminko Hodzic,
  • Mira: Jasminka Pasic,
  • Teacher: Ivana Perkunic

Background

The Srebrenica Massacre was the July 1995 killing of an estimated 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in the area of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) during the Bosnian War despite a United Nations peacekeeping force being in the area. The Srebrenica massacre is the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II and has been declared an act of Genocide. The Bosnian Serb forces targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity. A judge at The Hague tribunal was later to describe what happened there as "truly scenes from hell written on the darkest pages of human history."

Key Learning

  • The importance of setting in film.
  • The camera as narrator.
  • The importance of sound in film.

You will need

TV and DVD player or computer, projector and screen; writing materials; internet access.

A closer look using tools for reading film

Making Predictions

  • Before watching the whole film, use the pause button to look at the first shot. Ask pupils to look closely and write down what they see. Now ask them to predict what ‘kind’of film they think it will be, and what it might be about.

  • After watching the film, ask pupils to predict what might happen next. This might be developed into a further story or episode using storyboards.

Sound and Image

  • Discuss with pupils the importance of sound in film, and explain the four options (Ten Tools for Reading Film).
  • Now run the film again on sound only, and ask pupils to write down, in sequence, what they hear.
  • Discuss with them how the soundtrack had (even sub-consciously) helped them to ‘read’ the film, or explain what they were seeing e.g. are there any clues about impending war?

Questions for discussion (evaluating)

  • What country do you think this film takes place in?
  • What impression of it does the film give you?
  • How do we know that Ramiz is a Muslim?
  • Stevo and Ramiz have been friends for a long time. At what point in the film do they fall out and what causes it?
  • What does Stevo’s dad do for a living?
  • Why does Stevo angrily give him back his hat?
  • Do we know why the school was closed?
  • How many examples of conflict can you see or hear in the film?
  • The title is ‘The Way we Played’. How many games do we see being played in the film?
  • Is this a good title? Can you suggest a better one?

Further activities

Literacy/English

Ideas for Creative Writing:


1. Write about a time when your school was closed, or you unexpectedly had a day off school.
 2. Write about the games you used to play when you were younger. What were your favourite games? 
3. Write the diary of Stevo as he looks back on the day’s events.

Discussion/Debate:


Boys seem to like playing with swords and guns. Is it wrong for parents to buy their children toy guns or weapons?

Social Studies

Research:


1. Find out as much as you can about the Balkan War and the events in Srebrenica in July 1995. 
2. War affects many children around the world. Find out about the ways in which children are affected by war, and how many children today are living in war-torn countries. Tell the personal story of one of them.

Discussion/Debate


Download ‘The Little Book of Rights’ from the UNICEF website, and use it to inform a debate about whether children in this country have too many rights and not enough responsibility, or vice versa.

Religious and Moral Education

Research:


Find out as much as you can about Muslims and the Islamic religion. Present your findings to the rest of the class using a medium/media of your choice.

Related activities

Curriculum for excellence outcomes

LIT3-02a, LIT3-04a, LIT3-05a, LIT3-07a, LIT3-24a, LIT3-28a, ENG3-17a, ENG3-19a, SOC3-05a, SOC3-06a, RME3-06a

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