Hassa Family Archive

collection Hassa Family Archive
authors Zbigniew Hassa
starring Irena Hassa; Joanna Hassa; Katarzyna Hassa; Elżbieta Żelazko; Józef Żelazko; Zenona Pruszkowska
length 12'41
location Poland
year 1983
format 8 mm
color black and white
signature PAFD 0000 017
source of funding Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

The author of the film is Zbigniew Hassa. Since the age of 14, he had worked as an electrician in Warsaw Trams (then MZK). When his daughters, Joanna and Katarzyna, were born, he decided to start filming events from the life of the family. 

The apartment of the Hassa family in Warsaw’s Wilanów district. A pastoral visit. The priest blesses the apartment and hugs Joasia, Irena and Zbigniew’s daughter. Scenes from the life of the family: we can see Irena Hassa (Zbigniew’s wife) and their daughters (Joanna and Katarzyna). Neighbors visit the apartment. One of them strokes a dog named Kora. The girls bathe in the bathtub. Joasia kisses Kasia. They fool around in front of the camera. Irena wipes Kasia with a towel, who sits on her lap on a sofa bed. She puts on her top of the pajamas. A shot of Kasia in a wooden cot. Open-air shots in winter. Irena drags the girls on a sledge. We can see high blocks of flats. A family party in the Hassa family’s apartment celebrating Kasia’s second birthday. Among the guests, we can see: Elżbieta Żelazko (Zbigniew’s sister) and her husband (Józef), Zenona (Irena’s mother) and neighbours. Kasia approaches the cake, on which there are two burning candles. She blows out one candle, with the other one helps her mother. Irena hugs and kisses Kasia. Both clap their hands. The dog appears behind them. Shots of guests sitting on armchairs and a sofa. An account of the ceremony of the beginning of the school year. Joasia, Zbigniew’s daughter, goes to first grade. Joasia with two ponytails tied with white bows, in a checked skirt and a white blouse goes towards the school (school No. 115 in ul. Okrężna). She stands next to a boy. Behind them, there is a board with “Hello school!” inscription. Smartly dressed children together with teachers are on the school playground. They hold hands and form a big circle. Students, holding hands, walk towards the school. Joasia, standing with a group of children in front of the school, waves to the camera. Speech of the headmistress of the school. Shots from inside the school. Children sit at classroom desks. The teacher, standing in front of the children, looks towards the camera and smiles. The teacher leads the students outside the school. Joasia leaves the block of flats, followed by Irena, who carries Kasia in her arms. The vow of the first graders. A meeting in the school gym. The banner is brought in. Shots in front of the school. Outdoor shots in front of the church. Irena comes out of the church, holding Kasia’s and a small boy’s hands. Kasia lets go of her mother’s hand and runs towards the camera. A series of scenes documenting the life of the Hassa family. Family celebration in the apartment. The girls come out of the bathroom, holding rattles in their hands. Party in the apartment. Family and neighbours feast at the table. Next to the TV, there is a man. He holds a glass and a small teddy bear, pretending that the bear drinks from the glass. Kasia sits on a woman’s lap. On the other side of the table, we can see Irena, smoking a cigarette. Joasia in bed. Open-air shots. In front of the church, cardinal Józef Glemp gets out of the car. The interior of the apartment. Close-ups of the girls in front of the decorated Christmas tree. Joasia adjusts Kasia’s hair. The girls dance. The dog, Kora, lies on the carpet behind them. Joasia hugs and kisses Kasia. Kasia strokes the lying dog.


keywords Poland, priest, pastoral visit, carol, blessing of the apartment, bathing in the bath, dressing, winter, housing estate, sledge, birthday, cake, blowing candles, guests, school, beginning of the school year, first grade, school meeting, teacher, classroom, students, vow, gym, banner post, apple, stroller, family event, TV, teddy bear, antics, bed, cardinal Józef Glemp, Christmas tree, dog, dance, stroking a dog