Les Francos de Waterville
61 min film
Not that long ago, fifty percent of the inhabitants of Waterville spoke French. These were the hard-working Francos and their descendants, who had come down from Quebec to find work in the mills. From over sixty hours of interviews, the French majors of Colby College have pieced together the story of this community: the French-speaking neighborhood that was their world; the pride they took in their work, even as they were exploited; the importance of family; the role of the church; the discrimination they experienced in the public schools; the painful loss of their language; and the recent attempts to regain and preserve a culture that has in large part fallen victim to assimilation. An eye-opening view of Waterville, and of nearly forgotten history.