Waldemar Dziki

Poland, 1987



  1. What is equality? Why everyone has a right to be treated equally?
  2. Why Piotr does not feel accepted by his peers? Which scenes reveal his alienation?
  3. Why does the film’s protagonist seek acceptance and how does he try to gain it?
  4. Why being special is difficult? Does Waldemar Dziki, the director of the film, present uniqueness and otherness as contradictory concepts?
  5. How would you describe the relationship between the protagonist and his parents and siblings? How does Piotr’s family react to his special abilities? Compare the parents’ and the siblings’ attitudes. Compare the mother’s and the father’s behaviour.
  6. Do the adult characters of the film understand the children’s problems? Do they try to help them? Which adult characters are positive, and which are negative?
  7. What is the role of Aleksander and Gosia in Piotr’s life? Why do they become special to the protagonist?
  8. What genre conventions are used in the film? Which of them is the dominating one?
  9. School, health service, public order services — do the institutions presented in the film perform their duties in an appropriate manner?
  10. Does the film’s protagonist undergo metamorphosis, does he change as the plot unfolds?



Birthday party


First meeting of two geniuses



Scene 1

  1. What feelings is the protagonist tormented by in this scene? Describe how they change (happiness, excitement — disappointment, sadness — rage, hatred)
  2. How do the events reflect the protagonist’s emotional state?
  3. Why participation in Jacek’s birthday is so important to the protagonist?
  4. Who and why decide about not letting him in to the party? Is it children who reject Piotr?

Scene 2

  1. What traits of character are shared by Piotr and Aleksander?
  2. Why does Aleksander help Piotr?
  3. What elements of clothes or appearance emphasize Peter’s and Aleksander’s otherness?
  4. What is the role of contrasting settings (the interior of the bank and the park)?


Course of the classes:

  1. The lesson starts with watching the film The Young Magician. Then the teacher tells the students when the film was made and explains the historical context (the eighties of the previous century — the lack of respect for individuality, attempts to impose uniform views and behaviours on the society, restrictions on personal freedom). In the scenes in the classroom, we can notice props associated with Western culture, which in that period were objects of desire, considered a luxury, for example canned carbonated drinks, which were symbolically interpreted as a step on the road to freedom, democracy and respect for individuality.
  2. The teacher asks the group to define the basic concepts of the topic of the lesson (“genius” and “misfit”). First, the students are allowed to speak freely, they try to define the concepts, describe a genius and a misfit.
  3. Students work together to create a diagram to be filled in with key concepts of lesson. It will include expressions which were used most frequently during the classes.

For example: GENIUS — an outstanding, exceptionally talented person, an individualist, etc.

  1. The teacher divides the students into two groups: those who believe that Piotr is a genius and those who think he is a misfit.
  2. Students work in groups: each group formulates its own arguments and chooses one scene to support them.
  3. Debate: groups present their arguments and formulate counter arguments.
  4. The teacher summarizes the discussion and helps the students analyse the thesis: EACH GENIUS IS A MISFIT, WHILE MANY MISFITS TEND TO BE GENIUSES.



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