[Busia & Cioc raw #1]

This tape contains raw footage for "Busia and Cioc" by Valjean McLenighan. McLenighan visits two of her elderly relatives in their apartment and interviews them about their experiences as Polish immigrants to Chicago near the turn of the century. The close-knit encounter of four women in the kitchen leads to an intimate discussion of the immigrant experience and the myth of the American Dream.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with static.

00:35Copy video clip URL Exterior of Busia’s home. Videomaker Valjean McLenighan walks up the front stairs and is greeted by Busia, and then proceeds through the entry way and records footage of the interior of the apartment.

03:03Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Cioc as she prepares a meal in the kitchen.

04:11Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a calendar hanging in the kitchen. McLenighan asks Cioc about her recent 86th birthday. Busia states that she is 89 years of age. McLenighan’s mother Wanda assists Busia and Cioc in the kitchen.

06:24Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of the kitchen table. Wanda and Cioc make small talk about Polish dishes and curse words. The four ladies eat lunch and talk politics.

10:49Copy video clip URL Busia talks about immigrating to America and the many hardships she experienced while living in Chicago and Philadelphia. She talks about her struggles as a female looking for work not as a domestic servant. When asked why she and her family came to America, she responds, “To look for better. Because we were slaves under Austria. We come to America to free country, but we work terrible hard for nothing and the boss treats us like dirt.” This lasts for several minutes.

18:20Copy video clip URL Busia talks about her trip to Chicago on a train from Philadelphia and the difficulty she had reaching her destination as a poor, young immigrant who didn’t speak English.

21:22Copy video clip URL Busia talks about trying to find a job upon arriving in Chicago and the endless walks up and down the unpaved streets going in every store to look for work. She emphasizes a story about her losing her shoes in mud by the Chicago River and states that she was very surprised to find that life was worse in America than it was in Europe. Despite this, she kept up a front for her relatives back home and never admitted her hardships. Cioc interjects at some points, saying she had enough money to eat because she worked at a restaurant. Cioc goes on to say that medical issues used up her savings during the Depression. The two continue to talk about their struggles during their early years in America.

32:51Copy video clip URL Tape ends.

 

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