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ShowPeace Series

Lively cut-out animation illustrates the tensions when a newcomer enters a pre-established group.

A printer-friendly version of this page 10 minutes
Directed by Daniel Schorr
Produced by National Film Board of Canada
Writer: Daniel Schorr
Producer: Marcy Page

"A wonderful door opener for talking about how groups include and exclude individuals." Charles Collyer and Pamela Zappardino, Zepp Center for Nonviolence and Peace Education
DOMINOES uses characters based on the tiles of this universal game to illustrate the tensions and conflicts when a newcomer struggles to integrate into a pre-established group. This lively animated short, set to tunes inspired by Brazil's chorinho music, puts a modern meaning to the old domino theory as these characters ultimately learn about openness, flexibility and cooperation...and sharing one's dots.

DOMINOES is another film in the ShowPeace Series on conflict resolution. Designed as open tools for discussion and brainstorming about conflict situations for young people and general audiences of any nationality, the films in this series have no spoken dialogue, and character designs are without distinct gender, racial or cultural references. This series has received support from UNICEF and Justice Canada.

Other titles in the series are:

Dinner for Two - Funny animation teaches lesson on conflict resolution.

When the Dust Settles - Gophers provide lesson about conflict resolution.

Bully Dance - Insight on dealing with bullies.

Elbow Room - Office workers deal with a dispute in this amusing and enlightening animated short.

Tête à Tête à Tête - A playful animated film that provides a thought-provoking commentary on how beings interact.

Grade Level: 5 - 12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2006     Copyright Date: 2006
DVD ISBN: 0-7722-1211-2     VHS ISBN: 0-7722-1210-4

"As like the other programs in the ShowPeace Series, this program allows viewers to understand a theme without using words. Using universal themes of belonging and acceptance, Dominoes starkly, both by color and action, shows how a newcomer to the group can be ostracized, made fun of and ignored. Viewers, who might otherwise not empathize with the same human condition, can readily identify with the dominoes and how groups are formed. Because of the wordlessness of the program, English language learners can benefit by the same content as native English speakers. Those students who have special needs can also be provided with the content because of its picture format. Viewing this program without explanation and then letting students discuss what they saw, felt and identified with could be very powerful. The addition of the chorinho music adds another layer of humanity to the film. Dominoes is a wonderful addition to the ShowPeace Series."
Kelly Bryant, Library Materials Specialist, Southern Oregon Education Service District

"Dominoes is...up to the high quality standard established by the other films in the ShowPeace Series. It is a wonderful door opener for talking about how groups include and exclude individuals. It also strongly conveys that people are happier- even pleasantly surprised at finding themselves happier- when they are supported by and engaged with others. We both agree that Dominoes will have a place in our presentations through the Zepp Center...[The ShowPeace Series] is a very important, culturally sensitive contribution to the areas of conflict resolution and nonviolence education."
Charles Collyer and Pamela Zappardino, Zepp Center for Nonviolence and Peace Education

"Dominoes is a fast-paced and captivating film that will supplement any bullying prevention or social skills-training program. The animated domino characters enact conflict-producing scenarios that briefly resolve themselves and quickly develop into new problems, all in a very realistic and understandable fashion. Rather than a typical story line of 'one bully, one victim, problem gets solved,' Dominoes illustrates the more subtle and complex atmosphere of social life. And as one problem gets resolved, it often results in others being created. Yet, the overriding solution seems to hinge on one character's willingness to feel empathy, take a risk, think creatively, and step outside the status quo. The resulting message is that anyone is capable of being a bully and a target of bullying, and that acceptance and mutual positive regard for one another can lead to bigger and better things for all...[Dominoes] was a delight."
David Marsh, Licensed MentalHealth Practitioner, Malcolm Public Schools

"Dominoes...reminds us that it is not always easy to walk softly in the world around us. What are our thoughts when we come upon someone who is different from us? Do we see the world around us as a gift or a challenge? Dominoes provides a quirky, silly and relaxed message about accepting the diversity around us that kids can easily understand. The film demonstrates the strength of being a unique individual and how difficult it can be for others to accept something new and different in their lives and social structures. When people are confident within themselves it is easy to reject others who are different, because you are so sure that you are right in your beliefs and lifestyle. It takes confidence, kindness, compassion and the willingness to learn about new things that allow us to leap over the chasm of rejection and build a bridge of friendship in order to gain a larger picture of the world around us. The film helps to demonstrate that each and everyone that we meet holds a precious gift waiting to be given and waiting to be accepted. It is our personal responsibility to honor those gifts and make the best of them. Dominoes demonstrates an important lesson that all children need to learn in order to be able to teach peace in the world around them. It is our responsibility, as adults, to build strong character traits in children so that they can become adults who hold integrity and respect near to their hearts."
Suzy Miller, Alcohol and Other Drug Programs, Prevention Services - Mendocino County

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Study guide

Awards and Festivals
Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
American Psychological Association Convention Film Festival
Rendez-vous du cinema quebecois
International Animation Festival, Tehran
Anima Mundi, Rio de Janeiro
Festival internacional de Cine para Ninos / DIVERCINE, Montevideo

Children's Stories: Animation
Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
Language Arts
Social Psychology

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... more Reviews

"Dominoes is by far the best yet...As with the other films in [The ShowPeace] series there is no dialogue. They transcend language and convey their message clearly...But would kids really get something out of the experience?...[My grandson] who is in the fifth grade, really got into it, and when it was over he talked about sophisticated concepts - like when the outsider is finally able to join the circle of friends and all of them begin to shift and change, to adapt to each other. I highly recommend Dominoes for classroom and training work."
Paul Wahrhaftig, President, Conflict Resolution Center International, Inc.

"A lively expression of how cliques exclude others and then how it is resolved by inclusion. This is a timely movie that can be related to the present day world and global conflicts."
Lori Tedesco Singley, Director, EDUCARE

"A creative way of demonstrating the way children take turns ostracizing each other and the positive consequences when unaccepting behavior turns to acceptance."
Salem County New Jersey Substance Awareness Coordinators

"An excellent video resource that illustrates the complexity of peer group interactions, diversity, and conflict resolution. Dominoes is a fantastic springboard for discussing these universal issues."
Susan M. Swearer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of School Psychology, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

"Lively...Useful in educational situations to initiate discussions on conflict resolution. An additional purchase for most libraries."
School Library Journal

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