Short film of Roman Reinfuss

Roman Reinfuss’s Short Film

In the archive of Ethnographic Museum in Krakow there is a short film material connected with Karol Wójciak Heródek, registered by Prof. Roman Reinfuss at Lipnica Wielka in 1969 (available at YouTube MEK; digitalized by M. Długosz and A. Kazanecki, 2009).

A frame from R. Reinfuss’s film

The film lasting less than five minutes is a black and white silent movie and it comprises two sequences. The first one was shot on 30 April at the Smreczak family farm, where Wójciak lived. We can see Heródek, who, encouraged by the visitors from outside Lipnica, plays the violin and sings. His music is being recorded on the tape recorder. A minute later, Heródek is listening to the recording played to him with visible curiosity and a smile on his face. We can see that the lively music makes him wish to dance, he spontaneously jiggles about and scuttles. Then for a moment there appear Heródek’s sculptures, standing near a pile of fuel wood. Next Heródek looks through the illustrations with painting masterpieces and talks to a lady sitting next to him, probably Bożena Kłobuszowska, the author of the most extensive article of Heródek’s life and output published in ‘Polish Folk Art’ (Polska Sztuka Ludowa, 1972, issue 4, pp. 207-214).


A frame from R. Reinfuss’s film

The other sequence was shot on 3 September and shows the funeral. The coffin with the body of Karol Wójciak is carried from the church at Lipnica Wielka to the parish cemetery. The funeral celebrations are performed by the parish priest Bolesław Góral, and Heródek is accompanied in his last way by the Smreczak family and numerous neighbors. Among the gathered people we may discern another person with a camcorder, which means that apart from the short material by Roman Reinfuss, also another film was made, unfound so far.

Most probably it was the first funeral at Lipnica Wielka which attracted the attention not only of its inhabitants but also of many people from outside the village and which was documented in such a detailed way.

PS. The authors of HERODEK.PL portal are looking for the recordings of Karol Wójciak’s compositions and the above mentioned film from the funeral. We will be grateful for any tips regarding the place where such materials could be kept.

You can contact:


Grzegorz Graff