Major Family Archive

collection Major Family Archive
authors Bogdan Major
starring Gertruda Adamska; Jadwiga Gapa; Bogdan Major; Joanna Major; Maria Major; Tomasz Major; Krystyna Niemczyk; Anna Szumigaj; Alicja Szumigaj; Elżbieta Szumigaj; Helena Szumigaj; Lech Szumigaj; Bartłomiej Szumigaj; Lidia Walczak; Łucja Walczak; Witold Walczak
length 29'57
country Poland
year 1981; 1982; 1983; 1984
format 8 mm
color black and white; color
signature PAFD 0028 008

The author of the film is Bogdan Major (born in 1945), who, after graduating from the Faculty of Electronics at the Warsaw University of Technology, worked professionally as an electronics engineer in semiconductor technology in Toruń. From an early age he was interested in photography, and during his studies he was involved with the “Stodoła” Film Production Club, the “Kwant” Film Discussion Club, student radio broadcasters and, together with his wife Maria, the Literary Section of Radio Maryja. Bogdan bought his first camera after university to document family and social life. Maria’s brother-in-law Lech Szumigaj is also the author of some of the films or parts of them.

Part 1 

Family reunion in Sępólno Krajeńskie in 1984. The Szumigaj family (Lech and Elżbieta with their children), the Majors (Bogdan and Maria with their children), Łucja Walczak (Ela’s mother) and Lidia and Witek Walczak (Ela’s brother with his wife) are seated at the set table. Ela Szumigaj with her cousin Ela, called “Dziunia” by everyone, are watching the children playing. Łucja Walczak (née Floerke) is posing to the camera with her sisters Gertruda Adamska and Jadwiga Gapa. The family hanging out near the house is joined by Stanisław Adamski and his wife Grażyna. Leszek tries to take Łukasz (Dziunia’s son) on his shoulder. Bartek and Ania (Lech and Ela’s children) are walking on a wall. The family is walking along Turystyczna Street and the nearby birch forest. Lech is belaying the children climbing the tree. On their return, the Szumigaj family is playing with the children at home. 

Part 2 

Film shot in winter at the turn of 1982 and 1983. Lech, Ela and grandmother Łucja (Lutka) play with the children next to the house. Ania and Bartek are sledding down a small hill and playing in the snow together with their grandmother. When they return home, Łucja is treating her grandchildren with chocolates. Next to the woman is sitting her son Witek. Ania and Bartek are jumping around the room with teddy bears in their hands.

Part 3

The Szumigaj family spends time at Lake Sępólno on the “na Żyda” beach. The name of this place comes from the former Jewish cemetery located nearby, at the end of Jeziorna Street in Sępólno Krajeńskie. Lech and Ela are playing with their children in the water. The family is joined by an acquaintance, Mrs Niemczyk, with her daughter Krystyna, who is also playing in the lake. 

Part 4

A family gathering to celebrate Bartek’s first birthday in 1981. The boy, according to the tradition of the fortune-telling on the occasion of his first birthday, chooses one object from several lying on the floor, then plays with a toy car. The parents, both grandmothers (Helena and Łucja) and godparents (Dziunia and Piotr) are playing with the children and take the boy on their laps one by one. Maria Major is entertaining Bartek who is standing by the ladders of the children’s bed. The whole Major family joins the Szumigaj family and they are all dancing and singing together with the children.

Part 5

The year 1982 or 1983. The Szumigaj family, the Majors, as well as Łucja Walczak and Witold Walczak, are walking on the town beach on Lake Sępoleńskie. Back home, Ania, Tomek and Joasia are playing in the sandpit and in front of the house, next to the former court building, with Staś, Paweł and Weronika (children of Maryla’s neighbour). Leszek and Maria walk with their children on the pier by the lake. 


keywords winter  snow  sledge  summer  child  play  toys  birthday  cot  sandpit  garden  walk  lake  beach  pier  chocolates  dancing  singing  family  family life 
source of funding Ministry of Culture and National Heritage