2023 CGSI Conference Films


CGSI is proud to present for your viewing pleasure a double-feature featuring films from the production team of Susan Marcinkus and Larry Jacobs.
Susan and Larry will be on hand to introduce the films and answer questions about their work.


A Home in the Heartland: Czechs in Chicago follows the past and present experiences of Czech immigrants living in the Midwest. Chronicling their history while sharing personal stories, the 90-minute documentary spans “nearly two centuries of turbulent times,” showing how the Bohemians helped shape Chicago and how the city empowered them to thrive in a new land amid major European conflicts.

Film commentator Patrick McGilligan said, “This gem of a film will thrill you if you are Czech-American, but it will inspire and entertain you with its historical insights if you are not. The archival photographs, artwork and newsreel footage with articulate contemporary commentators tell the story of the immigrant movement that coalesced in Chicago…their continuing legacy is well worth celebrating.”

Featuring firsthand accounts from artists, entertainers, diplomats and intellectuals, A Home in the Heartland first aired on PBS. It chronicles the contributions of pioneering Czech women, Jews, Free Thinkers and Labor Activists that made their mark alongside figures like Anton Cermak, the first immigrant mayor of an American city, and Tomas G. Masaryk, the beloved first President of Czechoslovakia. .

For more information, visit: http://czechsinchicago.com.

Pictures From The Old Country chronicles the filmmaker's quest to uncover the mysteries of her Slovak identity and heritage, after they had been lost behind the Iron Curtain and her family's silence. As a young girl growing up during the Cold War, she is curious about the "strange" language her grandmother is speaking and the enigma that shrouds her past. Fantasizing that Grandmother must be a communist spy, she begins to ask questions that are never fully answered. Years later as an adult, she embarks on a journey that crosses continents and generations - to learn about Slovakia, why her grandmother came to America, and who she left behind. With the help of a genealogist, archivists, historians, and a film crew - she gradually fits together the pieces of the puzzle, telling the story of her grandmother and the history of her homeland. The filmmaker's sleuthing leads her to family she had never before known in a country that was facing its own identity crisis. Along the way, not only does she gain a deeper understanding of her family roots, but discovers a beautiful land, a rich culture, and a profound sense of her own Slovak American identity. This award-winning film was shot entirely on location in Slovakia.

These films will be screened during the CGSI Conference on October 18th at 7 pm at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee.
This screening is open to non-conference attendees for $15.
A Home in the Heartland