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The Specials (Hors Normes)

2019 | 114 min | K-12 | comedy, drama

Hors normes is a drama colored by gentle humor from the makers of the international hit film The Untouchables. Bruno (Vincent Cassel) takes care of the autistic with difficulty, Malik (Reda Kateb) works with young people from difficult circumstances. The special ones are based on true events, a story about the meaning of friendship. The story was inspired by the French Stephane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou, who became friends while working with the difficultly autistic. The film was directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.

After watching the movie, you can have discussions on the following questions:

  1. What thoughts and emotions did the movie evoke?
  2. How did the movie depict the lives and challenges of autistic individuals?
  3. What were Bruno’s motivations for doing his job? What about Malik’s motivations?
  4. How did the movie portray collaboration and friendship between different people?
  5. In what ways did French society perceive individuals with special needs and their caregivers? How are they perceived in Finland? Discuss the differences and similarities.
  6. What did the movie teach us about diversity, uniqueness, and interaction?
  7. Reflect on the elements that make the movie feel realistic.

After watching the movie, you can also engage in the following activities:

  1. Write a movie review where you share your opinion about the film and provide reasons for your views.
  2. Explore the concept of the autism spectrum. Start by researching the Autism Spectrum, possibly using resources from Autism Foundation. Discuss how the information you find relates to the movie.
  3. The movie portrays various sensory sensitivities. Investigate the senses and related sensory sensitivities. How and in whom can these sensitivities manifest?
  4. If possible, watch the Finnish documentary “Kovasikajuttu” directed by Jukka Kärkkäinen. Compare these two films. How do they differ in their portrayal of individuals on the autism spectrum? What similarities do they share?
  5. Document the communication methods used by the autistic individuals in the movie and brainstorm any additional methods you can think of.


The movie “Erityiset” is based on the work of Frenchmen Stephane Benhamoun and Daoud Tatou, who worked with severely autistic children and young people. The filmmakers followed their work for two years to make the movie as realistic as possible. The film features real autistic individuals as well as actors who are familiar with the condition through close family members. Some scenes in the movie are based on real events.

“Erityiset” is suitable for middle school and high school students due to its realistic and relevant nature, with a touch of gentle humor.

Material Author: Mette Lagerstam / IhmeFilmi ry


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About the movie


  • biology
  • ethics
  • french
  • health education
  • philosophy
  • psychology
  • social studies


  • communication skills
  • courage
  • defeating difficulties
  • differency
  • educational materials
  • emotional skills
  • equality
  • Ethics
  • Europe
  • everyday
  • fear
  • friendship
  • friendship skills
  • helping others
  • human rights education
  • identity and growing
  • learning materials
  • multiliteracy
  • parity
  • power
  • relationships
  • respectful
  • sense injuries
  • team work
  • thought awakening
  • warmth
  • well-being and everyday life skills

Educational levels

  • middle schools


  • comedy
  • drama

Age limits

  • K-12


  • Scanbox