Way We Played, The (Kako smo se igrali) — Samir Mehanovic, 2005
On the eve of war in Bosnia (formerly Yugoslavia) two boys play, unaware of what is going on in their country. As they venture into an abandoned fort searching for treasure, they find a buried rifle, oblivious to the fact that this discovery is going to change everything forever.
Classroom ActivitiesPrint All
- Clip Details
- Use Freeze Frame and no sound – show the opening shot. What type of camera shot is this? What can you see in the shot? What do you think this opening shot is telling us as an audience? (Think about symbolism – freedom of childhood, innocence etc.)
- Watch and listen to the first 30 seconds of the film before the title appears. What is the mise-en-scène (costume, lighting, blocking, shot selection…) revealing to us about the setting (place, time, atmosphere)?
- Watch to 00:39 seconds. What do you think is happening here? What are the hints we get from what you can hear? (Muslims at prayer) This scene has been included to help us understand an important difference between the two boys – what is this?
- Play from 01:05 – 02:02 without the picture, sound only. What do you think is happening here? Can you describe what you are hearing? What sort of mood is there in this scene?
- Watch up to 02:21. Can you tell what seems strange about the teacher’s announcement about school closing? (This is the first hint we get about the impending trouble)
- Freeze frame at 03:43. Why does the camera move behind the boys? What is the camera shot telling the audience?
- After the boys decide to go up to the fort and look for the treasure, what techniques are used to make this seem like an exciting adventure?
- Freeze frame at 04:42. What camera angle is this? Why do you think they have chosen to use this shot here?
- At 05:16, we get a visual clue that there is potential trouble – what is this?
- “Maybe it’s a grave”: how does this line of dialogue make the audience feel? When they then start to bring something wrapped up out of the ground, what do you think the director wants us to think?
- There is real tension when Stevo and Ramiz fight over the rifle. What techniques are used to make this scene feel so tense?
- Watch from 07:36 – 07:56. How can you tell that this sequence is a dream?
- When Stevo wakes up, what does he see happening outside his bedroom window? Why do we see this from over his shoulder and not a close-up of what is happening?
- What is the atmosphere when Stevo’s father is sitting at the table? How is this atmosphere achieved?
- When Stevo and his parents are sitting at the table together and his father takes out the list of names, what is his mother’s response to this? What are we supposed to figure out from this scene?
- What two shocking things does Stevo see on the way to Ramiz’s house? Why are we shown these things?
- As an audience, how do you feel at the end of the film? Why do you feel this way?
- Watch this video which explains what happened when civil war broke out in the former Yugoslavia. Does this remind you of any other events from history that you know about? Why is it so important that people’s stories are told?
- Watch this video about Children of Bosnia. How would you describe the story of the people who appear in the film? Why has the museum been set up? What is the aim of those who set up the museum?
- Zlata Filipović was a child who lived through the Bosnian War. Between 1991 and 1993 she wrote a diary about her experiences. Read some extracts from the diary here, as well as some interviews about war experiences of Zlata and others. (N.B. Zlata called her diary ‘Mimmy’ and wrote her entries addressed, “Dear Mimmy…”) How would you sum up the experiences faced by those living through this conflict? Find five quotations in the text which show the brutal reality of life in a war-torn country.
- Stevo and Ramiz find a rifle buried in the ruined fort above their town. This has obviously been buried there recently. However, what other sort of much older things would you expect to find buried in an old fort which hasn’t been used in over 100 years? Think about what archaeologists dig for usually.
- Stevo’s mother is shocked when it is clear that her husband is expected to kill their neighbours. Think about the importance of neighbours in people’s lives. What sort of connections and relationships to people build with those who live around them? Think about children, parents of children and older people, for example. Discuss the role of neighbours in our lives.
- Imagine you are Stevo. Write a diary entry following the end of the film. Think about how he would feel about his friend, the awful things he has seen, his father’s role in this and the fact that war has now reached inside his own life.
- Write a letter from Stevo to Ramiz at the end of the film. What do you think he would want to say to his friend?
- Using the incident where the boys find the sword as your starting point, write a short story about what happens next.
- Watch the scene in which the boys go to the fort from (04:20 -07:27). Using play doh or plasticine, make a short stop motion animation.
- Write a film review and present it in the form of a vlog.
- Design a poster for the film. Remember to include the name of the film, the director and some eye-catching images/typography to attract audiences to watch the film.
- Draw a floor plan for the fort based on the footage of it in the film. You can look up medieval castle plans and aerial photos to see if you can figure out what sort of layout the building would have had.
- Write a monologue from the point of view of Stevo as he is sitting in the field at the end of the film.
- Working in pairs, write a short script for an additional scene in the film with Stevo and Ramiz playing together. Practise performing it.
- Make a poster about the impact of war on the children of Bosnia using the YouTube videos shared in the Cultural section.
|Year of Production||2005|
|Curriculum Areas||Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education, Social Studies|
|Country of Origin||UK|
|Medium / Content||Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound, Subtitles|
|Themes||Feelings, Relationships, Loss / Memories, Danger / Fear, History / War, Culture / Society|
|Age Group||S1-S3, S4-S6|