Comedian and actress Magda Szubanski wants to better understand how world events have shaped her family. Tracing the lives of two ancestors, she discovers how both were forced to make grim choices and suffered the devastating consequences of war.
Magda was born to Polish father Zbigniew Szubanski and Scottish mother Margaret McCarthy. The family emigrated from England to Australia when Magda was five. Magda wants to find out about her Irish Catholic Grandfather, Luke John McCarthy who died before she was born.
Her mother’s father is a man full of contradictions: famous for a sense of humor but also a terrible temper, said to have suffered from shellshock fighting for the English in WWI, yet a member of the anti-English IRA. Tracing his history in Dublin, Magda uncovers a life of poverty and hardship as the circumstances surrounding his involvement in the war are revealed.
In the second part of her story, Magda explores the other side of her family. During WWII and the Nazi occupation of Poland Magda knows that her father fought for the resistance, in a secret unit. However, there are still many unanswered questions. What is the full story behind his covert missions and how did he survive the savage final days of the war? Traveling to Warsaw to meet one of the men who fought alongside her father, Magda hopes to uncover the truth.
Tune in to SBS ONE at 7.30pm on Sunday night to find out what Magda discovers…