Children and war
Top and tail
Pause the film on the first shot. Ask the class what they see. What do they expect the film to be about?
The film ends with Ramiz hiding in the dark whilst the Serbian army attack his house, what do you think happens next?
Watch The Way We Played at least once with your class
Ask students to compare how the different adult and childhood worlds are created through film language.
What different types of violence do we see in the film? How do you feel whilst watching them?
Children and war
Conflict affects millions of children worldwide. in groups present a multimedia essays showing how children are involved in different international conflicts (for example the Iraq War, War in Darfur, the Arab/Israeli conflict). Research how war may be affecting children in your school now (e.g. families with serving military personnel). One of the best places to source information is the Warchild website and the This textbook could save your life article is a good place to start on as it is a little less hard hitting and relates to school and education.
The Bosnian war
First watch The Way We Played with your class.
Conflict in the Balkans
The film is set at the beginning of the Balkan War in 1992. Research why the war started and who it was between. How does the director show the increasing influence of the war on Stevo and Ramiz's lives?
*The short film is based on my own real experiences of war and tells about the tragedy that happens to the most innocent - the children. It was shot in Bosnia and we could find real guns easier than cameras. - Samir Mehanovic - Director
The director Samir Mehanovic said "The short film is based on my own real experiences of war and tells about the tragedy that happens to the most innocent - the children. It was shot in Bosnia and we could find real guns easier than cameras. This film helped me to deal with my past and first days of war. My best friend, a Serb, ran away without saying goodbye and the same night his army started shelling our city. In this film I gave my friend the benefit of the doubt. I made him a hero who tries to save his best friend in spite of everything." What is a hero? Do you agree that Stevo in the film is a hero?
Why do you think the film is called The Way We Played?, what might an alternative title be?
Other films on a similar theme
Another beautiful film which subtly tackles the harsh realities of war is Birthday Boy (Sejong Park 2004) a high quality version of which can be downloaded from the Screening Shorts website if you are a teacher in Scotland.