SATAN FROM THE SEVENTH GRADE

Maria Kaniewska

Poland, 1960

ACTIVITIES

GENERAL DISCUSSION

MAIN SUBJECTS OF THE FILM:

  1. From an adventure film to a crime and detective film — basic film genres for children and teenagers. Why do the young audience watch and love them?
  2. The struggle between good and evil — eternal motif of action films and literature.

SECONDARY SUBJECTS OF THE FILM:

  1. Satan from the Seventh Grade as a didactic treaty.
  2. Humour and comic elements in Satan from the Seventh Grade
  3. Family and national history in Maria Kaniewska’s film
  4. Adam Cisowski — a friend, a brother, a buddy. Why do we like and admire the film’s protagonist?

FILM EXTRACTS

00:03:0000:13:10

Scene 1. Lesson with the professor

1:17:001:24:30

Scene 2. Going to rescue — Adam in a trap

ACTIVITY 1

QUESTIONS FOR GENERAL DISCUSSION:

  1. What genres and genre conventions can we notice in the film?
  2. Are they still interesting and attractive for a young viewer? Do the modern cinema also use them?
  3. What is the function of the past in the film? Does the film encourage to explore history?
  4. What is the purpose of introducing the motif of a Polish gentry family from the Napoleonic period and the Gąsowski family?
  5. What personality traits characterize Adam, professor Gąsowski and Miss Wanda? Are those characters multidimensional and psychologically complex or do they remain one-dimensional?
  6. What is the function of humour and comic elements in the film?
  7. Why did the director change the period the action is set in from the interwar period (as in Makuszyński’s novel) into the modern times?
  8. Is entertainment (lively action, crime mystery) the only purpose of the film or does it also have didactic or other functions? If so, how would you describe them?

ACTIVITY 2

QUESTIONS CONCERNING INDIVIDUAL SCENES:

Scene 1

  1. How is school portrayed in the film? Is it a friendly place or a soulless institution?
  2. How would you describe the relationships between the students and those between the students and the teachers?
  3. What is the function of this scene in the film’s structure? How is the protagonist characterized?

Scene 2

  1. How would you describe the relationship between Adam Cisowski and other boys?
  2. Why the motive of the scouts is introduced to the film?
  3. What cinematographic means of expression are used to emphasize the danger of the situation?
  4. What is the function of editing in this sequence? What editing techniques are used?

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