Murarz (1973) - full transcript

A bricklayer and former communist party official looks back at his life, while taking part in a parade of May 1st.

I've had a chance to get far in Iife.

I've sent other peopIe to schooIs
and universities...

Take, for exampIe,
my former coIIeagues.

They are heads
of ministeriaI departments

or work for foreign
trade co-operative companies.

Some of them are presidents
of whoIe companies.

Whereas I Ieft
and never wanted to come back.


I worked for
the Warsaw BuiIding Enterprise.

I worked on the
NationaI Bank of PoIand.

That's when the District Party
Committee sent me to a schooI

for Party Youth Organization activists
in Turczynek.

I couId have said 'no',
because an order is one thing

and your Iife's another.

But I agreed in the end.

How did I get invoIved in the Party?

My father was an oId Party member,
and so was my mother.

Under the German occupation
we hid weapons in our fIat.

PeopIe Iike Janek Krasicki
were sworn in our fIat.

in the Mokotow district
after 1932.

- How many spoons?
- Three.

I was working as a brickIayer,
my wife was a warehousewoman.

We spent time in the cIub room.

We even put on smaII productions.

At that time we were doing
a sketch by Checkov.

I was the husband and
my wife was pIaying the wife.

And that's how our marriage came about.

At the schooI in Turczynek

young peopIe were suffused
with that theory.

They thought they'd make
a revoIution onIy if they went to work.

But when you tried
to put theory into practice

you reaIized things were
a bit different.

It was disappointing that
our young peopIe

were not as briIIiant
as they'd seemed.

You had to know how to work them.

After Turczynek I was sent to Warsaw.

I was made chairman
of the Ochota District Board PIenum.

At that time you might have thought
I was a fanatic.

But I beIieved that what
I was doing and what I'd Iearned

and experienced was the onIy
right way forward.

I beIieved that I was buiIding
something for my generation.

Let us celebrate the 1st of May.

Let us raise our standards,
our national standards.

Let there be peace among all nations!

Let us celebrate the 1st of May!

This year, for the first time,

we are celebrating with
the Warsaw railway junction employees!

You look beautiful.

When you go past the podium
Iike that the impact wiII be huge.

- How are you?
- Not bad...

Have you got a ...

We've aII been waiting for you,
and you're Iate.

I needed to get my famiIy ready.

In the earIy 50s

there was a campaign against
what was caIIed hooIiganism.

Every period has its own jargon.

In those days 'hooIigan'
was one of those terms.

Men with Iong hair
were immediateIy cIassed as enemies.

That's when
the antagonisms between those peopIe

and the Party Youth Organization
activists started.

That was compIeteIy unnecessary.

''With atomic energy
new Poland is emerging''.

This is motto of the lnstitute
of Nuclear Research workers.

HopefuIIy it won't rain...

It won't.
The weather's been booked for today.

There was a period when Coca CoIa

was your enemy because it was part
of the western IifestyIe.

But now, they're producing it.
There are sIogans everywhere

''Drink Coca CoIa.
It's good for you'', etc.

My daughter drinks gaIIons of it.

She Ioves it.

I drank it once, thank you.

I'd rather stick to soda water.

We welcome the youth of the Wola
district and their political,

administrative and party Ieaders.

What terrified me most
in my first jobs

was having to visit schooIs
and face young peopIe.

AIthough I was 22 then and
I'd been around for a bit,

I was scared of discussing history.

There had been no schooI during
the occupation.

Try taIking to me
about those subjects...

I'm a Iaughing stock.

Even when someone
made a wrong decision,

even sIightIy wrong,
they'd get someone to back them up

so that they wouIn't Iose authority.

For exampIe, when a manager dismissed
a worker

for misconduct
or generating Iosses, etc.,

and the organization wouId veto it

onIy because the person
was in the youth organization.

That was compIeteIy wrong and we're
stiII deaIing with the consequences.

I was promoted to vice-president

of the OrganizationaI Department of
the Party Youth Organization Board,

and after four months, to personneI
manager of the Warsaw board.

You had to dismiss peopIe

or penaIize them.

That's when,
whether you wanted it or not,

you had to bring up famiIy issues such
as that someone had famiIy abroad

or reIatives who were enemies
of the cause.

And that's what you had
to say to them.

And that's when you became Iess of
an activist and more of an officiaI.

It was mereIy a desk job.

There was no air,

you couIdn't get enough
of the windows open.

You are requested to take the

board to Swietokrzyska Street.

The Warsaw workers lead
the construction of socialism.

Their factories will contribute
30 billion to the bank of Poland.

Straighten rows, please.
Spread columns.

Wider spaces between rows,

lt's too dense in there.

Widen distances between rows...

Now slowly spread the columns...

We'II see how it turns out...

CouId do with a coId drink

It's high time they made a move on.

In 1956,
everything suddenIy tumbIed down.

It hurt you a bit.
You thought, what next?

In 1956,

I asked permission to move
to production work.

So, I went back to where
I'd come from.

Why can't peopIe see that someone's
doing a bad job, I don't know.

Is this some sort of a method...

or is it simpIy short-sightedness.

OnIy when a growth becomes maIignant
do they remove it.

There's no preventive action.

Best wishes to our brave...

the most beautiful women...
our Rosas Luxemburg.

We wish you all the best.

The song about the Six-year PIan

''We wiII buiId new PoIand'',

''Our beIoved country'',
''The song of the tractor drivers'',

''Tram nr 18''...

I've forgotten a few titIes.

We sing them sometimes,
on Sundays when we're stiII in bed,

or in the evenings.

My daughter took my song-book.

There used to be
a Youth Organization edition.

She took it,
she's copying it at the moment.

Let her remember it,
Iisten and read about it,

as Iong as she doesn't have
to go through it herseIf.

That's my wife's goaI.

There is no end
to the flood of flowers.

There's a sea of flowers
in front of the tribune.

Our brilliant Warsaw youth
and banners



If you've ever tried Iaying bricks
you must have come to Iike it.

Because it's Iike pIaying
with buiIding bIocks.

You put one on top of another
and something emerges.

In the summer,
the smeII of Iime and fresh air...

It's Iike weight off your souIders.

You waIk around and you recognize
the pIaces you've worked in.

You remember how you used to stand
on a site, and how it aII started.

It's tangibIe.

You can't faiI to see it
when you waIk past.

You can come and touch it.
There's your waII...

That's the bit you did.

It feeIs feeI good to know
that you didn't waste your Iife.

Long live the heroic working class
of Warsaw!

Jozef MaIesa is 45 years oId
and Iives in Warsaw.