We Are All Neighbors

For this unit we had to watch a film which I thought was very interesting because I was very unfamiliar with the subject. The Bosnian War lasted over 3 years and like any war it wasn’t pleasant.

The religious/national identity of the people introduced in the video were two main groups. The Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosnians. With any war, there will come many changes for its people. In this case it also happened with gender roles. The Muslim men were not able to go to work, therefore they took up house chores to spend their time. The one that was focused in the video was that of chopping wood. Men would spend most of their day chopping wood while the women continued house chores, but men would also typically help the women with some of these house chores. At nights, the men would take watch for attackers and the women would try to keep themselves entertained or occupied by watching the news or sometimes singing Muslim songs.

One of the scenes that got me the most from the film was when the old Muslim woman was calling her Croat friend and her friend would not come down to see her. They had been friends for 40 years. Neighbors who, like the Muslim woman pointed out would give to the other what she didn’t have. It was heartbreaking to see how relationships in this village were destroyed because of affiliation to a certain religious/national group. A friendship of 40 years ruined because of a war that they weren’t necessarily a part of.

The Croats turned on the Muslims in this village because it was mostly Muslims in this area and the Croats wanted majority catholic. Basically they wanted to ethnically cleanse this area. It was mostly surprising how people who were friends and literally lived right next to each other, turned because of a religious affiliation.

One thought on “We Are All Neighbors

  1. Your thoughts on the film are very interesting and meaningful. You describe the scene where the Muslim woman was trying to talk with her Croat friend who would not come to see her as being heartbreaking. It is very sad when you see two people who used to be great friends and depend each other not acknowledging the other. When you consider how close the members of these communities are it is mind-blowing to see something tear those bonds apart. In most American neighborhoods you might ask your neighbor to borrow a tool or watch the house for a few days. In small villages in poverty stricken countries your neighbors are considered to be family. You depend on them to survive. These two women were caught in the middle of a conflict that they wanted no part of and their friendship suffered as a result. This just goes to show how your political and religious allegiances may not live within your heart.

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