Ten-year-old Jojo lives with his father, a security guard with a volatile personality who drinks to manage the unspoken despair he feels about his wife’s absence, which he refuses to discuss with his son. In the midst of so much uncertainty, Jojo finds comfort and happiness in caring for an abandoned baby bird, a jackdaw, who is even more vulnerable than himself.

Secrets of War

Conflict rages across Europe and the Nazis have occupied the Netherlands, but for twelve-year-old best friends Tuur (Maas Bronkhuyzen) and Lambert (Joes Brauers), not much seems to have changed: they still go to school each day, and still play “War” with their wooden guns in the forest and underground caves just outside their small village. But the realities of the conflict soon intrude on their familiar world: Lambert is bullied over his family’s affiliation with the local Nazi party, while Tuur’s parents and brother are mysteriously quiet on the subject of a resistance group rumoured to be developing in the town. When the boys begin to compete for the attentions of Maartje (Pippa Allen), a young newcomer to their class, their bond is put to the test. And when Maartje grows closer to Tuur, Lambert’s jealousy sets in motion a series of events that will alter all three children’s lives. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]