Argument About Basia

(Awantura o Basię)

1959   >   comedy for children

A film awarded at the Venice International Film Festival for Children and Youth.

A charming and unpretentious adaptation of one of the most famous Kornel Makuszyński’s novels, carried out in the style of a pre-war costume comedy.

As a result of a tragic accident Basia, who is only a few years old, loses her mother. The only piece of information in possession of the authorities is the name and address of the person to whose care the deceased woman wanted to entrust her daughter. Basia, having been sent on a journey, unexpectedly lands in a flat of poor actors. Since the note with the future caretaker’s address is partly destroyed, the child mistakenly ends up in the house of a famous man of letters and reveller – Stanisław Olszowski. At the beginning, the man is not fond of the extraordinary guest, however Basia quickly wins his heart. When Miss Stanisława Olszańska, a friend of Basia’s late mother appears in Olszowski’s house, the editor refuses to give his favorite away. An arbitrary court rules that Miss Olszańska and Mr Olszowski are to jointly care for the girl. After some time they develop genuine feelings for each other. Finally, Basia gets a new home and two loving, though foster parents.

The film’s plot covers only the first part of Makuszyński’s novel.

Maria Kaniewska decided to set the action in Krakow, at the end of the 19th century. By doing so, she got the opportunity to make a retro film, using the authentic scenery of the city.

Costumes based on designs of a famous illustrator of books for children – Jan Marcin Szancer deserve closer attention.

The four-year-old Basia was played by Małgorzata Piekarska, chosen from three thousand candidates.



Maria Kaniewska
Maria Kaniewska, Kazimierz Korcelli
Antoni Wójtowicz
Roman Mann
Jan Marcin Szancer
Lidia Pstrokońska
Lucjan Kaszycki
Małgorzata Piekarska, Jerzy Duszyński,
Roman Niewiarowicz, Mieczysław Gajda,
Ewa Krasnodębska, Janina Macherska


Bronze Lion (Venice International Film Festival for Children and Youth)
Award of the Committee for Upbringing and Culture (Venice International Film Festival for Children and Youth)
CIDALC award (Venice International Film Festival for Children and Youth)
Materials: SD
Length: 96’