In this film, Paul Tomkowicz, Polish-born Canadian, talks about his job and his life in Canada. He compares his new life in the city of Winnipeg to the life he knew in Poland, marvelling at the freedom Canadians enjoy. In winter the rail-switches on streetcar tracks in Winnipeg froze and jammed with freezing mud and snow. Keeping them clean, whatever the weather, was the job of the switchman.
Part of the Faces of Canada series, Paul Tomkowicz Street Railway Switchman is a terrific portrait of those unsung, unnoticed people who keep the community running. Shot on 35 mm with a portable Arriflex camera, it allowed its small crew the freedom to follow Tomkowicz around at night in the dead of winter, something that would have been impossible with older cumbersome camera equipment.Albert Ohayon
From the playlist: The 1950s: Television and the Move to Montreal