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Growing — David Alexander, 2006

A day in the life of three inner-city teenage boys, who spend their days in an idle lifestyle of smoking, joking around and chasing girls. One such day, an initially playful interaction with a female friend of the group results in tragedy…and regret.

A hard-hitting film that would provide an excellent springboard for discussions of the male gaze and behaviour and on-screen representations of this.

Classroom Activities

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  • How does the use of black and white increase our sense of the intended mood and message?
  • What is the significance of ambient sound used and the lack of dialogue in the first segment? What does it allow us to focus on? How does this increase our understanding of the environment in which the boys live?
  • List the many types of camera shot used in the first two minutes. Why has the director used this range of shots? How does it develop our sense of location and atmosphere?
  • Look at the interaction between the three male characters from 02:00 – 03:00 minutes. How does their body language/facial expression/behaviour change as they chat? Now think about the dialogue alone. How is the dialogue/vocabulary in contrast with their animated joy? What does this dialogue tell us about their shared view of women?
  • Look at the interaction between the two foreground characters from 04:00 – 06:00 minutes (male and female). Do you think the remaining two male characters have encouraged this approach? How? How does the male character we then focus on change? (Consider facial expression and body language). Make a list of thoughts he might now be having during this experience.
  • Following the attack, the main character begins to be shown in a new light. How do the environmental shots at this point add to our understanding of how he might be feeling?
  • How do the flashbacks shown give us a better understanding of this male character? Consider viewer privilege – we now know more about him than his friends do. Does it change how we feel about him? If so, how? What is the resulting impact of this event on his friendships?


  • Consider your own friendship group. What role do you feel you fulfil within the group? Are you the joker/peacekeeper/romantic/free spirit/leader/other? Make a diagram of the people in your friendship group and the roles they fulfil/their characteristics. Why is it important to have a range of people in the group with a variety of characteristics?
  • Now imagine you had to swap roles with someone else in your group. How easy would it be? How would you go about undertaking the change? What hurdles would you face?
  • Consider one thing about yourself that even your friends don’t know. How do you keep something private? Is it always easy? Think about a time when someone on the news has been caught out in a private matter. Is it important that we all have privacy? How must it feel when your privacy is broken?
  • Think of three potential scenarios in which someone might have to confide in a friend. What appropriate ways could their confidante use to support, whilst also ensuring that the person gets the help they might need?



  • Create a haiku which sums up how your friendship group interact with one another.
  • Write a personal reflection on a time when you have struggled with a friend. How did you feel before/during/after the event? Describe what happened. Detail how you felt emotionally and physically. How did you overcome the issue? Did you instigate the resolution or was it someone else? Was it easy or difficult? How did it change you/your friend/your relationship? What did you learn?


  • Make your own short film about surviving a day where there is nothing to do. Think about how your characters will interact. What will they do? Where will they go? Add an unexpected event and explore how they react and resolve it.


  • Create a design for a piece of street art using only one singular word which you feel is used to create a sense of collective identity.


  • Design a poster campaign encouraging victims of violence, or witnesses to speak out. How can you encourage them to share their experiences and seek support?

Clip Details

Resource Rights Holder David Alexander
Year of Production 2006
Genre Drama
Curriculum Areas Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education
Director David Alexander
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Black and White, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Danger / Fear, Culture / Society, Poverty / Class
Clip Length 11:00
Clip Length 11:00
Age Group S4-S6