Just wanting to share how showing in Oshawa, Ontario of "Forgotten Odyssey"
In a nutshell: It went FAB-U-LOUS! Sell-out audience; 120 (free) tickets
available; 130 came! Good mix in audience, tho mostly senior. About a
dozen Sybiraki (I asked for a show of hands); the rest just plain
interested. I enjoyed giving my little 'lecture' afterward on the matter of
Sybiraki who made Canada home after the war (very brief discussion out of my
thesis research). The question/discussion period that followed was very
stimulating. Margaret Bonikowska came (from Gazeta) and sold several copies
of the video. Joan also sold several copies of her husband's book, "Without
Vodka". The library staff were VERY pleased with the event, as well as
interest generated through their display, which they had up for three weeks
prior to the film night. Books related to the topic have had increased
interest in recent weeks at the library.
There was a woman there, who immigrated from Poland several years ago, but
who still writes as a freelance writer for Polish magazines/newspapers, and
she took notes with the view to write an article on the event. she had no
card and I didn't have the opportunity to get her data.
The library staff have asked if I would be interested in a repeat
performance in the fall. The event is the BEST they have ever had, as they
usually generate 50-90 people for their film nights. I indicated I'd be
happy to repeat the evening.
Throughout the film, you could hear comments, sighs of dismay, and
ultimately, over the evening it was clear the 'story' was 'new' to many and
certainly many people left thinking about the forgotten odyssey.
Audience members reflected a wide range of community individuals, including,
of course, a large representation from Oshawa's Polish community, both elder
members from the post-war years, and post-1980 Polish immigrants. I was
especially glad my parents attended (my father Sybirak), as well as a