Film “Jan Gaca University”


The film “Jan Gaca University” is a combination of archive material (by various authors) and contemporary footage. It portrays the late fiddler Jan Gaca from a small village near Radom. For the last 14 years of his life, he was the mentor of young people who travelled to him “for music” – first from Olsztyn, and later from all over Poland. They were learning from him, and gradually becoming independent musicians. The extraordinary, natural and warm-hearted relation between Jan Gaca and his pupils was based on a real exchange. He taught – not only about music, but also about the world of his youth, and they gave their verve, drive, presence and attention in return. Thanks to the young adepts, Jan Gaca’s music was given a new life after many silent years. A new life was also given to the pupils – they took instruments in their hands and begun to discover folk music. The film depicts this remarkable relationship, yet it is also a pioneering chronicle of traditional music revival, started in the 1990s and aimed at reconstructing the genre in its original form. The picture means to break stereotypes about folk music, often seen as outdated, and encourage the viewers to start their own adventure with it.


Directed by Jagna Knittel

Production: Mazurkas of The World Foundation, The Institute of Music and Dance (IMIT)


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