In the beginning of the film, both Muslims and Catholics were often times very close friends. They identified as Bosnians, and they lived in peace and harmony. When one person or family was running low on food their friend, regardless of religion, would step in and feed that individual. People traveled to different villages freely and went into the trading centers to buy, sell, or trade items that they had made. However, this peace, cooperation, and safety ended when the war began.
In the beginning, the war did not negatively impact the relationship between friends who belonged to different religions. They visited each other’s houses regularly and shared their resources. The Serbs were seen as the common enemy; it was everyone, both Muslims and Catholics, united against them. When the war progressed the Croats, who were Catholic, started targeting the Muslims and their homes. People were forced to run and hide, and leave their homes. This led to distrust brewing between Catholics and Muslims who used to live peacefully.
This change in dynamic was a form of ethnic cleansing. Even though the Serbs were the original enemy of both religions, it didn’t continue that way. It turned into the Catholics against the Muslims: friends became enemies and could no longer be trusted. Their religious and ethnic identities changed from being united to being a “them against us” mentality. Muslim homes were being shelled, bombed, and burned while Catholic houses were left alone and remained whole.
Furthermore, the lives of both women and men changed. The majority of women were no longer going to work or going into town in order to go to the market to get supplies. The men were fighting to defend their homes and families; when the threats increased, the men were taking shifts of protecting their homes. Lives were drastically changed for both men and women, and the views held by most was that the life styles they lived before could not be gone back to due to the mistrust that came about between friends due to religious differences and violence.