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Arts & Culture

POV: Listening Is An Act Of Love: A Storycorps Special

A still from the StoryCorps short film "Making It."
Courtesy of StoryCorps
A still from the StoryCorps short film "Making It."

Airs Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

The first-ever animated special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening.

The special features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project, when everyday people sit down together to share memories and tackle life’s important questions.

Framing these intimate conversations from across the country is an interview between StoryCorps founder Dave Isay and his inquisitive 9-year-old nephew, Benji, animated in the inimitable visual style of the Rauch Brothers.

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THE STORIES:

A still from the StoryCorps short film "Making It."
Courtesy of StoryCorps
A still from the StoryCorps short film "Making It."

"Making It" - Noe Rueda grew up poor on Chicago’s West Side. At the age of 8, he already relied on his entrepreneurial talents to help his mom and three siblings make ends meet. Noe tells his high school teacher Alex Fernandez about his childhood.

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A still from the StoryCorps short film "Marking the Distance."
Courtesy of StoryCorps
A still from the StoryCorps short film "Marking the Distance."

"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.

A still from the StoryCorps short film "The Road Home."
Courtesy of StoryCorps
A still from the StoryCorps short film "The Road Home."

"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 Chapel Hill, N.C., and found a friend in David Wright, a passerby. The two friends discuss Eddie’s remarkable journey.

A still from the StoryCorps short film "Me and You."
Courtesy of StoryCorps
A still from the StoryCorps short film "Me and You."

"Me & You" - In New York, 73-year-old Jackie Miller talks to her adopted son, Scott, revealing something about her early life that sheds new light on his adoption. 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.

A still from the StoryCorps short film "Miss Devine."
Courtesy of StoryCorps
A still from the StoryCorps short film "Miss Devine."

"Miss Devine" (encore) - In Bradenton, Florida, cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson hilariously recall their fearsome Sunday school teacher, Miss Lizzie Devine. In Miss Devine’s world, there was no earthly excuse to miss Sunday school, even if it meant arriving in your pajamas and tennis shoes, as James personally attests.

"No More Questions!" (encore) - 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 after that interview.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:

StoryCorps is on Facebook, and you can follow@StoryCorps on Twitter.

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