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Polish reality at the end of the war


Butter barrels and sauerkraut
Andrzej Wajda Film-maker
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Musiałem iść do pracy, musiałem pracować fizycznie, robiłem beczki na masło. Takie przychodziły klepki z Holandii, myśmy składali z tego beczki. Pracowałem... byłem tragarzem, posłańcem, pracowałem w różnych takich miejscach... w takim dużym magazynie kwaszonej kapusty. Oto były moje zajęcia. Ale te zajęcia ani przez chwilę nie stanowiły dla mnie namysłu jakiegokolwiek. Chodziło o to, żeby jak najszybciej to skończyć albo nie pójść do pracy i namalować coś jeszcze, narysować coś, zająć się. Tak że to była na pewno też jakaś forma, że tak powiem, takiej obrony przed tą rzeczywistością, że istnieje jeszcze jakaś inna rzeczywistość. No i też, jak mówię, dwa lata jednak... dwa lata szkoły gimnazjalnej udało mi się ukończyć, pierwszy i drugi rok gimnazjum. Gimnazjum trwało cztery lata, więc jeszcze dwa lata mi zostały.

I had to go to work, I had to take up physical work so I made barrels for storing butter. We were sent staves from Holland which we made up into barrels. I was a porter, a messenger, I worked in several different parts of a huge warehouse for storing sauerkraut. That was my work. But this work didn't for a moment absorb my thoughts. I just wanted to finish as quickly as I could, or not go to work at all, so that I could paint or draw something, occupy myself with something. It was definitely a way of fending off this reality so that there could exist a different reality. And of course, I was able to attend two years of grammar school, the first and the second year. Grammar school lasted four years so I still had another two to go.

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) was a towering presence in Polish cinema for six decades. His films, showing the horror of the German occupation of Poland, won awards at Cannes and established his reputation as both story-teller and commentator on Poland's turbulent history. As well as his impressive career in TV and film, he also served on the national Senate from 1989-91.

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki

Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.

Tags: porter, messenger, warehouse, grammar school, work, drawings

Duration: 1 minute, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008