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My father


I wanted to be a revolutionary
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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My grandfather, who brought me up was, like I said, a militant - I've already talked about this. His two brothers - there were three of them - were also militants. One of them, Władek, was killed and the other one, Julek, was sent to Siberia; he survived 1905. He was always telling me and I have the feeling that my life begins somewhere in the revolution of 1905. This is a crucial element in my whole life story. It's like, if I'd been asked then what I was going to be I would have answered, a revolutionary and that I was going to dive from a pedallo, fire a seven-shooter, make 'exes', there was a story about how Julek made 'exes' in Zawiercie, he unhitched the horses from the carriage just as the Cossacks had approached because someone had betrayed someone else and he escaped riding the horse back-to-front firing his gun. These are my earliest childhood recollections.

Dziadek mój, który mnie wychował - jak mówię - był bojowcem o czym już mówiłem. Jego dwaj bracia, ich było trzech, też byli bojowcy. Jednego z nich, Władka, stracono, a drugiego Julka zesłano na Sybir, on przeżył ten dziewięćset piąty rok. I on opowiadał mi bez przerwy i ja mam takie poczucie, że moje życie gdzieś zaczyna się w rewolucji dziewięćset piątego roku. To jest taki bardzo istotny element mojego życiorysu całego. To tak jak to takie, jak mnie wtedy zapytano kim będę - odpowiedziałbym, że rewolucjonistą, będę nurkował na pedałówce, strzelał z nagana, robił "eksy". O takie było opowiadanie, jak Julek robił "eks" to w Zawierciu odłączyli konie od karetki, a nadjechali kozacy, bo kogoś ktoś zasypał i on uciekał na koniu tyłem, ostrzeliwując się - z dzieciństwa moje wczesne wspomnienia.

The late Polish activist, Jacek Kuroń (1934-2004), had an influential but turbulent political career, helping transform the political landscape of Poland. He was expelled from the communist party, arrested and incarcerated. He was also instrumental in setting up the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) and later became a Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki Marcel Łoziński

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.

Film director Marcel Łoziński was born in Paris in 1940. He graduated from the Film Directing Department of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1971. In 1994, he was nominated for an American Academy Award and a European Film Academy Award for the documentary, 89 mm from Europe. Since 1995, he has been a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science awarding Oscars. He lectured at the FEMIS film school and the School of Polish Culture of Warsaw University. He ran documentary film workshops in Marseilles. Marcel Łoziński currently lectures at Andrzej Wajda’s Master School for Film Directors. He also runs the Dragon Forum, a European documentary film workshop.

Tags: grandfather, militant, revolutionary

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008