This movie puts into a nutshell the history of one of the most elite and legendary rescue organizations in the country, officially founded on October 29th, 1909. With a ride to the peak of Kasprowy Wierch inside a cable railway car we begin our picturesque travel, which takes us both through the Tatra Mountains and the history of TOPR.
It seems that it would be quite difficult to make a documentary film based on a topic more charming – the beauty of Polish mountains, the charismatic characters of past and contemporary life-guards, the legendary valour, the horror lurking in the precipices, the threat of imminent death, the exhilaration of the rescued, the sorrow of the casualties’ families -all this comprises in an age of Blue Cross activity in Tatras. The only question that arises is : how to cram all this vivid material in a 75 minutes movie ?
A movie, which is meant not only to present the people and the mountains, but also to record the recollections of the veterans, pay a tribute to those who are gone and also show the modern day TOPR, so different from these first years, when the only equipment was a hemp rope and a bamboo sticks with attached grid, on which the injured were carried. A task simply unrealizable. And yet, the authors did actually pull it off. Despite a necessity to make compromises and to omit numerous characters and important events, which the authors weren’t able to contain in the movie, we finally have a chance to set off on a genuine trip. One time we stroll, learning step by step about the way the things were back then, and the other time we’re hung on a rope under the helicopter, rapidly plunging into the emotions of the rescuers and the rescued. We meet such legends as Uznański, Jagiełło, Janik, Gajewski, Augustyniak. We step into everyday reality and we recall the most difficult expeditions. The archival pictures blend with breathtaking footage from trainings and from helicopter assisted rescue actions as well.
The authors managed to preserve the remembrances of those, who contributed to shaping TOPR after second World War and of the likes of Commander Jan Krzysztof, who transformed TOPR into a modern, perfectly equipped rescue organization. During the 100 years everything changed, with the rescuers’ equipment to begin with and ending with density of tourist traffic in Tatra Mountain. Only one thing has remained unchanged – the rescuers’ oath and the readiness to come to one’s help in the mountains which the rescuers hold so dear. “Upon my word of honour, I voluntarily swear that as long as I am healthy, at every Commander’s call (.) irrespective of year’s season, day or weather, I will appear in a particular time and place and (.) head to the mountains to seek and rescue the missing person.”.
This is why these words of oath create a frame for all the memories and scenes from the 100 year history.
Distribution – second half of October:
Tatra Voluntary Moutain Rescue
63a Piłsudskiego St
tel. +48 18 2014731,
fax. +48 18 2015560
* Version polish :
* Previous story : – Rescue climbing
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