POV’s Thanksgiving Broadcast, ‘Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special,’ Reveals the Power of Conversation, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 at 9 p.m. on PBS
StoryCorps’ First Animated Television Special, Drawn from Its Oral History Archives, Unveils Dramatic Stories from Everyday People. All You Have to Do Is Ask—And Listen.
Produced in association with American Documentary | POV. Funded by CPB.
“StoryCorps on PBS: Must-See, Can’t-Miss, Your-Life-Depends-on-It TV.”—Richard Corliss, TIME.com
The first-ever animated television special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Directed by the award-winning animation team the Rauch Brothers, Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special features six stories drawn from StoryCorps’ 10 years of asking everyday people to share their conversations with family and friends. These oral histories are a never-ending testament to how much can be revealed in the closest of relationships and how readily, as StoryCorps founder Dave Isay says, “you find wisdom and poetry” in the words of regular folks. An interview between Dave and his inquisitive 9-year-old nephew, Benji, frames the program’s intimate conversations.Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special premieres on Thanksgiving Day (also the first day of Hanukkah), Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). It is a special presentation of POV (Point of View), American television’s longest-running independent documentary series.
This broadcast takes place the day before the National Day of Listening, a holiday created by StoryCorps to encourage people take the time to record conversations with loved ones the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally known as Black Friday. To coincide with the POV broadcast, The Penguin Press has released a new book, Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, and re-released Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project, supported by a national book tour.
Making It: Noe Rueda grew up poor on Chicago’s West Side. At the young age of 8, he already relied on his entrepreneurial talents to help his mom and three siblings make ends meet; even $20 would make his mother cry with gratitude. Noe tells his high school teacher Alex Fernandez about his childhood, and Alex shares his dreams for Noe’s future.Marking the Distance: When Gweneviere Mann, a San Francisco native living in New York, lost her short-term memory following surgery to remove a brain tumor, she was forced to navigate life in a new way. But she wasn’t alone. With the support of her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, she found she could tackle the challenges her condition threw her way—and a few more.
The Road Home: Eddie Lanier ignored his father’s warning about the family’s disposition to alcoholism and struggled for over 40 years, until his 28th stint in rehab finally led to sobriety. Homeless and hungry, he roamed the streets of his native Chapel Hill, N.C., and found a friend in David Wright, a passerby whose frequent donations stood out. The two friends discuss Eddie’s remarkable journey.
Me & You: In New York, 73-year-old Jackie Miller talks to her adopted son, Scott, revealing something about her early life that puts his adoption in a new and dramatic light. As they express their profound love for one another, Scott touchingly recalls how he came out to her and expresses his trepidation about the future.
The StoryCorps special includes two favorites from previous POV seasons:
Miss Devine: In Bradenton, Fla., cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson hilariously recall their fearsome Sunday school teacher, Miss Lizzie Devine, the only woman who scared them more than their grandmother. There was no earthly excuse to miss Sunday school, even if it meant arriving in your pajamas and tennis shoes.
No More Questions! Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was reluctantly taken to a StoryCorps booth in San Francisco by her son Cheng and granddaughter Chen. Though Kay resisted, she still had stories to tell—from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors in China to her adventures as a Bloomingdale’s store detective. Kay passed away just weeks later.
Book tour with Dave Isay:
Monday, Nov. 4, Book Passage, San Francisco
Wednesday, Nov. 6, Barnes & Noble, Santa Monica, Calif.
Thursday, Nov. 7, KPCC, Pasadena, Calif.
Friday, Nov. 8, Powell’s Books, Portland, Ore.
Monday, Nov. 11, Barnes & Noble, New York, N.Y.
About the filmmakers:
Dave Isay, StoryCorps Founder and President/Executive Producer
Dave Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous broadcasting honors, including six Peabody Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. He is the author/editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including three StoryCorps books: Listening Is an Act of Love (2007), Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps (2010) and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps (2012)—all New York Times bestsellers. Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps was published by The Penguin Press on Oct. 21, 2013.
Mike Rauch, Producer/Director
Mike Rauch first became fascinated with the triumphs, trials, and life stories of everyday Americans while working as a door-to-door book salesman. He joined StoryCorps in 2007 and worked as an intern and facilitator before taking on his current role as a producer and director on the StoryCorps animated series. He also works with his brother Tim to produce independent animation through their studio Rauch Brothers Animation, and he is currently developing a film featuring 1950s recordings made by Puerto Rican migrants in New York City.
Tim Rauch, Animator/Director
Tim Rauch has been drawing ever since he was old enough to hold a crayon. His career in animation began on The Wonder Pets!, an Emmy Award-winning preschool show, for which he was an animator and designer. Since then, he has created animation for clients as diverse as Sesame Workshop and Mountain Dew. Through Rauch Brothers Animation, he has directed and animated two award-winning independent films that have screened in more than 50 film festivals worldwide.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and now in its 26th season on PBS, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 365 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 32 Emmys, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 11 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. In 2012, POV achieved a new milestone, winning five News & Documentary Emmy® Awards. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the desJardins/Blachman Fund and public television viewers. Funding for POV’s Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Special support provided by The Fledgling Fund and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.