The Fourth Partition

On February 12 we would like to invite you for the screening of a documentary film about the beginnings of the Polish community in Chicago.

We invite you to the premiere screening of the documentary film. Notice – additional screening at 8 pm!

February 12, 2015, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm
Emigration Museum in Gdynia
Marine Station, Polska Street no. 1
Limited capacity!

We would like to invite you to the Polish premiere of the documentary film “The Fourth Partition”, which portrays the beginnings of the Polish community in Chicago. The authors of the film – Mr. Adrian Prawica and Mr. Rafał Muskała – utilized unique, archive film materials giving insight into everyday lives of immigrants from Europe in America. Dr. Marcin Szerle will take a moment to tell us about the birth of Chicago Polonia, as well as about the permanent exhibition of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, currently being developed. This meeting offers a wonderful opportunity to see the restored interiors of the Marine Station before the museum opens in May/June of 2015.

The screening is subject to an entry pass, which can be acquired from the InfoBox in Gdynia beginning with February 6, 2015. Capacity limited!

The tour around the “Polish” Chicago will be guided by American researchers of Polish descent: Mr. Donald Pieńkoś – historian, lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, author of many books focused on the history of Polish emigration to the United States, James Pula – history professor at the Perdue University in Indiana, Director of the Polish American Historical Association, or Dominik Pacyga – lecturer at Columbia College in Chicago and a fan of emigration history. The film portrays the hard lives of newcomers, who – unfamiliar with the language and the reality of the New World – found employment in foundries, steel plants, and slaughterhouses performing the most despicable, the worst paid, and, often, dangerous jobs. It allows us to visit the places where they lived, built churches, but also cemented their very own sense of community in the quarters named (contrary to the established nomenclature of the city) after Polish parishes (Stanisławowo, Trójcowo, Jackowo). The film also pays great attention to the importance of the support those poor people could offer their homeland on its quest for independence.

The authors of the film managed to present the economical and historical context of Polish emigration to the United States, beginning with the first craftsmen in Jamestown in 1608. They also portrayed the role of the Church in the development of national identity abroad – from the first Polish parish in Panna Maria, Texas to the great temples of Chicago whose construction witnessed several conflicts.

The journalists and historians associated with Polonia who take the floor in the film try to identify the sources of this unique social and political force of the Polish community of Chicago, which entailed not only its active participation in local governments, the city council, and various self-help associations, but also laid foundations for the creation of their own military structures – Gen. Józef Haller’s Blue Army.

“The Fourth Partition” has met with a warm reception in the U.S. winning awards at Ann Arbor Polish Film Festival and 25th Polish Film Festival in America. The film’s director – Mr. Adrian Prawica – became this year’s laureate of Creative Arts Award presented to people of merit in the field of research on Polonia during the 72nd Conference of the Polish-American Historical Association in January in New York City.

About the film


Direction: Adrian Prawica

Script: Adrian Prawica, Rafał Muskała

Produced by: AmerykaFilm LLC

At the Dawn of the 20th century, over 2 000 000 people lived in Chicago and it was the second largest city in the United States. It was also the center of Polish culture and political activism in America. Between 1870 and 1920, over 4,000,000 Poles immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. Chicago became their second home. It was here that they found employment and although their work in factories and foundries was hard and dangerous, they did not become discouraged. Unmoved, in their neighborhoods they built enormous churches and created a community unseen anywhere else. For many of them, however, the most important thing was to support their beloved homeland – Poland, caught in the midst of its fight for independence. The story of those Poles – often born already on American soil – is the focus of “The Fourth Partition”.

For the authors of the film – both born and raised in the U.S. – the work on this documentary was an important experience. Mr. Adrian Prawica says that not only did he gain historical knowledge, but most of all he acquired a deeper awareness of himself and his own identity.

Adrian Prawica – born in Łódź in 1980. Emigrated to the Unites States at the age of ten. Graduate of the Loyola University Chicago. His adventure with a movie camera began when he was 25 years old. As a producer and a director, his works in journalism and advertisement are broadcasted on main American and international television channels. As a cameraman, he usually specializes in the operation of high-speed Phantom Flex cameras and RED cameras.

Rafał Muskała – born in Tychy in 1985. Graduate of the Department of Journalism and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University. In his student days, he was an activist of Niezależne Zreszenie Studentów [eng. Independent Association of Student – trans.], organizer of winter camps and tours. In the years 2004-2006 he worked for the student newspaper SMS. In 2007 he emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago. Reporter and journalist of the Chicago-based Radio Deon from 2012, author of a music/film show entitled “The Famous Infamous”. Co-founder of the Polish language news site . Editor and publisher from 2013. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking and is an avid follower of motorization.

Awards of “The Fourth Partition”:

  • 1.”Discovering Eye Award” for Adrian Prawica and Rafał Muskała, 25th Annual Polish Film Festival in America, Chicago, 2013
  • 2.”Best Debut”, 20th Annual Polish Film Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2013
  • 3.”Popular Award”, 3rd Annual Vancouver Polish Film Festival, Canada, 2014
  • 4.”Creative Arts Award” for Adrian Prawica and Rafał Muskała, Polish American Historical Association, New York, 2015
  • 5.”The Waclaw Lednicki Humanities Award” for Adrian Prawica and Rafał Muskała, Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences, Warsaw, 2014

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