Red Top, Blue Top
A Film about Peace Building
In an unnamed village in an unnamed land (perhaps not a real place at all), two groups of people live side by side. Somewhere back in time, however, they became bitter enemies. No-one can remember why. They live the same lives, they do the same things, they wear the same clothes – except for one important difference. One group wears their hats with the blue side up, and the other, the red side. To the villagers, this makes all the difference in the world.
Fear and tension, passed down through the generations, is all the village has known. Only two little girls, too young to have learnt their elders’ ways, see past the villagers’ differences.
Then, one day, things change.
Farouk, leader of the Blue Tops, is approached by a stranger with a donkey piled high with colourful bundles of magical potions and amulets. The stranger offers Farouk a pair of shoes, promising him the respect and admiration of all if he wears them for just 12 hours.
Farouk is delighted and rushes home. Moments later, the stranger, or Wise Man as we’ll call him, approaches Adnan, leader of the Red Tops, with another pair…
At sunrise, in their own homes, the two men eagerly put on their shoes, and the magic begins to work. Adnan and Farouk transform into each other. Both are utterly horrified! Worse, the shoes won’t come off!!!
Each in the wrong man’s house, their ‘wives’ bring them food. They panic! But instead of the worms or rats they’d always believed these people ate, they find their food is delicious! The families are friendly and warm, just like their own. And they hate their group with the same intensity!!!
The stark reality of their people’s suffering begins to dawn on both men.
Meanwhile, their sons have been fighting. Each go to their ‘father’ for help, only to discover a strange new tolerance and empathy for the old enemy. Betrayed, they decide to sort things out for themselves.It’s time, they tell a rising mob, to run those Red Tops / Blue Tops out of town once and for all!
As the sun sets, the shoes’ magic disappears. Farouk and Adnan return to their normal forms, and, meeting at the village well, realise both have had the same experience. They join to beg the villagers to stop. “Things are not as you believe,” they implore. “The fight between our sons is what happens when we teach our children to hate!”
Will the villagers come together at last? The Wise Man believes so. “It will take hard work to change the way people here have felt for so long, but I think they can do it – if they choose to.”