About the project

How a certain movie is made

The movie: Polish Brazilians

A sentimental journey into the world of the history of grandparents and great-grandparents of the Brazilian Polonia.
We are going to travel in time. Let’s go back to the second half of the nineteenth century, where there were no youtube, cells, where the ability to read and write was above average skills.

It all started here in the Opole region. In 1844 in Stare Siołkowice (Alt Schalkowitz) Sebastian Woś was born, the prime mover of Polish emigration to Brazil. It was here where he began his education, which he continued in junior high school in Opole. In 1867, fleeing the army, he went to Brazil. Over the next few years, he brought more and more families from Silesia, which settled in the state of Parana. It was the place where their Polish national identity was born, and the city of Curitiba became their new homeland.


Port of Hamburg


On a ship to Brazil


In the port of Port De Santos



Subsequent waves of emigration to Brazil set off on a mass scale from Galicia and the Russian partition. This period is called “Brazilian fever”. (the most numerous emigration in the years 1890-1891).
It should be mentioned here that the population of these areas already had experience of emigration to North America. So where did this change of direction come from? What determined them to go so far? Did they know where Brazil is, what the ocean is? What was their journey like? Could they afford it? Did they realize what to expect on the spot? How did they find themselves in the new climate and social conditions, among native Brazilians and other nationalities (colonizers from Germany, Italy and France)? What problems did they have to face?

With the voice of the descendants of the Polish emigrants, we will find out what has been passed down to the fourth, fifth and even sixth generation. Who do they feel to be today – Poles? or “Brazilians”?
We will find out whether they know and look for their roots in Poland or whether they keep in touch. What is their image of Poland and Poles today. We will see what traditions they cultivate, and what Polish language lessons look like, because there are only 30% of Poles speak Polish better or worse.

The Foundation would like to thank Mr. Martin Pollack for lending iconographic materials to the film.