“Lessons of Basketball and War” explores universal themes of violence, prejudice, cultural identity and conflict resolution as seen through the eyes of adolescent girls – refugees from war and famine in Somalia who have resettled in a strange foreign city. Pushed together in an inner city housing project, religious traditions and beliefs are tested by the onslaught of a sexualized, celebrity obsessed America. Teachers work to help students with little previous education and a propensity for an abhorrent form of personal violence fueled by a legacy of ethnic hostilities. This hour-long documentary offers an engaging and at times thrilling account of a year in their young lives and the challenges faced by one dedicated educator, peacemaker and basketball coach.

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“An honest, unflinching and ultimately up-lifting story that deserves a wide audience.”


“An elegantly simple documentary - beautifully constructed and lovingly created.”


“A surprisingly moving documentary that gives a rare view into the lives of a unique group of immigrants.”


“A gift of insight and heart”


“A lovely gem of a film”  


-  IMDb Reviews  

“I have been telling everyone I know about the film and how much I enjoyed the inspiring, heartfelt...and at times hilarious...piece. As a high school teacher, I am always trying to reflect on how my presence and pedagogy impacts the youth I work with, and watching the film informed me in such a profound way.  I imagine that the documentary could trigger the much needed dialogue in our building and our community.”  


-  Sarabeth Leitch, Educator, Portland, OR

Currently available for streaming from:

KANOPY  Free to more than 3 million educators, students and library patrons. Kanopy is now used by 3000+ colleges and universities as well as many public libraries. A discussion guide and a bonus video featuring a post-screening discussion are also available on the site.

VIMEO  The film can be rented or purchased for download globally on Vimeo On Demand. Also with Vimeo's app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast.

AMAZON  Purchase DVD's 





LESSONS OF BASKETBALL AND WAR is available for licensing by community groups, corporations, libraries and school groups.  A perfect centerpiece for awareness campaigns, special interest discussion groups, film programs and fund raisers. This film offers a great way to begin a positive conversation about diversity, immigration, conflict resolution and multi-cultural education.  Groups screening the film have included middle school and high school assemblies, school outreach screenings, universities, community discussion groups, and film programs. Producer/Director/Writer Ron Bourke can be available to present the film upon special arrangement. Contact us for more information. 

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