Toys of War: Depicting children’s perspectives of conflict

Toys of War an Op-Doc by Andrew Berends of The New York Times

“Molding clay into scenes of war, displaced children tell their story in South Sudan in this short documentary.”

This video shows the importance telling the story through the subject’s perspective because it is about the children’s experience and views of war in Sudan, their displacement from home and loss of family members.

This video uses a black screen with text to introduce the story and issue. It uses a lower and wide shots to establish that it takes place in South Sudan. There are interesting perspectives of the clay pieces the children make, with their voices and laughter in the background. It pays attentions to the detail of the toys with close-up shots and thoughtful depth of field.

Although the subjects do not speak English, the journalist’s voice still is not heard. Instead, subtitles are used. The children explain what each toy is, focusing on their thoughts and descriptions, not an outsider’s voice.

It uses real scenes of guns being fired between the children’s descriptions of war to illustrate their fear and shocking experiences.


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