In this short animation based on Marie-Francine Hébert's 2003 book of the same name, a friendship unites two little girls from opposing clans in a village where tensions are mounting. The citizens with the red shoes clearly despise those without, and one fateful morning, one of the girls and her family are accosted at gunpoint by their oppressors. The little girl barely has time to grab her beloved pet fish before the men are herded to one side and the women and children to the other. So begins our protagonist's long and painful journey as she seeks shelter for herself, her mother, and her fish. This modern tale compassionately and poetically addresses intolerance and the consequences of war.
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Ages 10 to 18
Civics/Citizenship - Ideologies
English Language Arts - Children's Stories/Fables
History and Citizenship Education - Issues in Society Today
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Created using watercolour animation, this timeless tale of war and intolerance unfolds through the bewildered eyes of a young girl. It illustrates how perceived differences can be magnified and lead to conflict, and how human relationships can transcend societal expectations. This film has cross-curricular connections to social studies and language arts exploring conflict, co-operation, symbolism and metaphor. What is the significance of the red shoes? What motivates the war between neighbours? Are there warning signs of the impending conflict? Can students think of an example in their own lives where they have defied social convention in the name of friendship and co-operation? Have students write their own ending to the film.