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Paczki Movie video clip

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©2004 Army Armstrong Films, LLC
(75 minutes)

In New Orleans, they call it Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. A last chance to revel before the austerity, sacrifices, and fasting of Lent. For immigrant Polish families along the shores of Lake Erie, Fat Tuesday was also once a special day of feasting and dancing. But they knew it by another name: Paczki Day, in honor of their favorite pre-Lenten treat--sweet fried yeast donuts called paczki (pronounced poonsh-kee).

Thanks to baker Tim Kiedrowski, the tradition is still alive, and it's Paczki Time again in Lorain County, Ohio,--a three-day celebration of family, friends, food, and fun. There's the lively Paczki Ball, crowds eager for hot paczki, and behind it all, one busy group of bakers turning out sugared, apricot, poppyseed, and lekvar paczki by the dozens.

In spite of its title, this film is not really about donuts, but about family, about a remarkable couple who have raised their children with integrity, and respect, and love, who've applied those same principles in their working life to their extended family at the bakery, to their customers, and to the broader community in which they live. Family, community. That's what, deep down, we long for, even as we drive our SUVs down glutted highways to Big Box Mart. That is, always has been, the true heart of America. It may be harder to find, but it's not lost.

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