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The Extraordinary Journey Series
Who were the Eastern Europeans, as these peasant immigrants were called by Native Americans of Irish, Welsh and English ancestry? Where did they come from? Why did they come here? How did they get here? What did they do when they arrived? These compelling stories are told from the immigrant’s perspective, to create an evocative experiential context for the audience.
The Extraordinary Journey shares the stories and memories of their immigrant heritage. These first-person accounts turn back the hands of time and draw us into a world far different than the one we live in today. From pierogi to polka to pysanky, Eastern European culture reflects humble origins, profound piety and intense ethnic pride.
The film focuses on the largest Eastern European ethnic groups that settled here – the Poles, Slovaks and Ukrainians. However, it also includes the historical contributions of an additional 20 ethnic groups, including the Russians, Lithuanians, Hungarians and Czechs.
The production details personal stories of Eastern European immigrants and the impact of historical events on their lives, events such as the Red Scare of the 1920s, the Depression of the 1930s, World War II in the 1940s and the demise of the coal mining industry in the 1950s. Those stories are complemented by the presentation of popular ethnic traditions in cooking, music and religion that produced family values that continue to define America today.
Older generations have always passed down values, beliefs and traditions to help younger generations identify with their family name and heritage. Yet, many people still don’t know their ancestral history. The Extraordinary Journey celebrates and preserves America’s Eastern European heritage through a poignant blend of first-person accounts, never-before-seen images and insightful commentary.
The Extraordinary Journey honors the courageous character our ancestors possessed to create a finer life for us today.