Film: 3964

Social History | 1940 | Sound | B/W


Film about European World War II refugees who were resettled in the small town of Cummington, Massachusetts 1945

A town hall where voting is taking place in the United States of America, the stars and stripes stands in the background beside a raised platform where two men stand behind a desk, the ballot box and voting booths are on the floor to the right, a man drops his vote in the ballot box. A town hall meeting, two men behind a desk, one of whom talks. The town citizens in their seats in the hall, one man at the back stands up with something to say, there is even wood stacked against the wall for the wood stove. Men turn to look at the speaker, the speaker talks very animatedly. The moderator bangs on the desk with his gavel. Close ups of faces in the audience. The two men arguing sit down. One of the men ruges another to stand up and speak, the man relunctantly does so, the pastor watches him talk.. Flashback:
An old bus pulls up in a town square. People get off the bus, the bus driver helps the women and children down, they have suitcases, the children have dolls. Three men in front of the general store don't look particularily inviting. The new comers in front of Hall's Market New England Stores, a shop with a veranda. The pastor walks down the tree lined street to welcome the refugees. One of the men on the porch stops whittling his piece of wood. One of the men puts his pipe back in his mouth. The men at the old garage and gas station turn to look as well, hostile. The pastor shows them to the front door.
The first night in the house, each refugee in their room, most of them alone, one mother with two children, some unpack, one man sits on his bed and takes some time to himself. The mother plays with her baby and then tucks him in a crib, the little girl looks through a colouring book.The pastor and one of the men smoke a pipe outside. One man sets a clock, a woman looks up from her crochetting. The mother rocks the baby in her arms seen through the curtains of an upstairs window. The pastor leaves. The small tree covered valley of Cummington in Massachusetts, typical New England small village. The villagers walk up a grassy lane to the church. The parishioners talk outside of the church before the service. A ruined stone building, a plaque in a rock, where the first church stood. The new refugees walk in late. People look down from the balcony. Some of the people stare outright. The pastor preaches. The choir stands up as the organist starts to play. The congregation follows. One of the parishioners passes Anna, one of the women refugees a hymnal to follows along. Joseph walks into the grocery store with a basket, there are several local men there and a child. The 'old stove club' a bunch of old men who ignored him when he looked and watched him when his back was turned. Joseph hands the store clerk his shopping list and she puts the items in the basket, he pays and leaves. The pastor walks with Peter to a stone house and goes in through the glass doors. It is a printing office, Peter used to print fine books in Czechoslovakia. Peter works one fo the presses, the owner, Jim, agrees to take Peter on. A large building nestled in trees, the library. Peter looks around the library at all the books behind glass doors.
Max, another of the refugees hauls a milk can onto a truck. The widow follows himout of the barn, he gets in the truck. Shasha, another rfugee, works at a sawmill, one of the other workers shows him how to work a bit of wood. Joseph and Anna in their knick knack shop before it opens, a few young women are painting pottery and the pastor walks in. The pastor sets out some Mozart music at the piano, one of the girls sits at the piano, the pastor pulls out his flute and Joseph plays a violin. View of the valley, farms strung out along the river. A man on a tractor mowing hay. Picking apples in an orchard, cutting out cabbages and cutting down corn stalks. A man drivers a hay wgon down a road. Children walk home from school through autumn leaves. An old lady rakes leaves in front of her house to a pile that is already smouldering. Tarring a road for winter. Gathering corn ears for silage. Harvest time, stacking wood for winter, gathering pumpkins on the front porch. A little boy brings a small plant to the home of the refugees.
Peter works on a woodcut of Emerson. Jim, the printer pulls a title age off the press and shows it to Peter. Joseph joins the old stove club who are very welcoming.
A parking lot with a ferris wheel in the bacground: the county fair. Shots from the ferris wheel and of the ferris wheel. The merry go round. Monkey's playing. The displays of pickles and jams and vegetables that are up for judging amongst the crowd. Peter shows women prints and paintings. The stall of jams. A giant balloon. Jospeh gets ahot dog with a friend from a hot dog stand. Cows pull heavy loads. A young man hits a platform with a hammer and the wieght goes up to try and hit the bell. The crowd watches the harness races. A lttle girl with cotton candy. Boys watch as a photgrapher prepares his camera. The refugees and friends all eating hotdogs on their porch steps have picture taken. The bus drives out of Cummington again and the old stove club sit on the proch of the general store loking unhappy that the refugees are leaving.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 3964.