Major Family Archive

collection Major Family Archive
authors Bogdan Major; Lech Szumigaj
starring Bogdan Major; Joanna Major; Maria Major; Tomasz Major
length 03'41
country Poland
locations Toruń, Poland  Barbarka, Toruń, Polska 
year 1979
format 8 mm
color black and white
signature PAFD 0028 009

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.

Film shot in Toruń around 1979 during a family walk. Bogdan and Maria Major, together with their children Tomasz and Joanna, are walking along a forest road to Barbarka, a forest settlement about 7 km away from the city centre. The settlement is the place of worship of St Barbara and its history dates back to the 13th century. (Since 2004, the area has been the site of a forest school, run by the environmental association ‘Tilia’ on commission of the Municipality of Toruń. Nearby there is also a national memorial dedicated to the civilians executed by the Germans in 1939–1940). The family starts their walk at the city bus terminus and on the way to the settlement passes by Ignacy Zelka’s monument ‘Polish Children – to the Mother of Poland’, St Barbara’s chapel and the pond next to the former forester’s lodge (now the offices of the forest school), where Bogdan with his children and grandchildren often skated. The children are sliding on the frozen paths and by the edge of the pond. Asia falls over and cries. The family, with Bogdan’s help, crosses the small river Struga. 


keywords national memorial site  forest school  winter  forest  family  leisure  family life  walk  pond  chapel  settlement  monument 
source of funding Ministry of Culture and National Heritage