special-feature

INDEPENDENT LENS
Twin Sisters

 

In China in 2003, twin babies Mia and Alexandra were found in a cardboard box and placed in an orphanage, where authorities separated the infants and concealed their sibling relationship. Two sets of prospective adoptive parents — one from California and the other from Norway — meet during the adoption process and launch an investigation that reveals that the girls are sisters. The girls grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. When the girls are eight, Mia and her family go to Norway to visit Alexandra, and discover that the girls not only look and act alike, but are unmistakably and inextricably connected to each other.

 

Around the World:
The Crane Candlelight Concert

 

Featuring over 300 carolers and musicians from the renowned Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, this concert includes traditional Christmas and seasonal hymns along with popular favorites. This year features Sibelius’ Karelia Suite, Op. 11; the Ukrainian melody “Carol of the Bells,” performed by the Candlelight Bell Choir; a rousing rendition of the Nigerian carol, “Betelehemu,” performed by the Crane West African Ensemble; “Mi Zeh Y’Maleil,” a Sephardic folksong performed by baritone Brady Walsh; and “Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker,” a Scandinavian carol arranged by the Crane School of Music’s own Dean, Michael Sitton.

 

 

Christmas in Alsace with Chef Hubert Keller

 

Chef Hubert Keller visits the 600-year old Christmas festival in his hometown of Ribeauville in the heart of Alsace, France. He takes us cheese shopping in Colmar and stops in Strasbourg which boasts the world’s largest Christmas Tree. Back home, he enjoys a wine tasting with his childhood friend who runs a winery and pays a visit to another old friend who has started a multi-day smoking process of a ham for Christmas dinner.

 

 

Christmas on the Danube

 

Travel the majestic Danube River as it passes through stunning European landscape, history and culture. Cities visited include: Vienna, where Christmas markets come alive within the city’s grand buildings; Budapest, with its grand Parliament and spectacular river setting; Salzburg, where music fills the air at the Christmas Markets in Mozart’s birthplace; Oberndorf, where we learn the origin of the most famous Christmas carol, “Silent Night.” Other highlights include a visit to the Melk Abbey, the old town on Passau, and the charming Christmas Market in Bratislava.

 

 

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies

 

Soprano Deborah Voigt and acclaimed British actor and voice artist John Rhys-Davies join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt lake City, Utah for a concert of holiday favorites.  Among the highlights are Voight’s performances of the English carol “The Holly and the Ivy” and the light-hearted “The Twelve Days After Christmas” with the choir and orchestra.

 

The program also includes two festive Russian pieces, with dancers joining the choir and orchestra for excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Polonaise” from Christmas Eve and “Dance of the Tumblers” from Tchaikovsky’s The Snow Maiden.

 

Another highlight is Rhys-Davies’ dramatization of “A Dickens Christmas,” a vignette featuring him as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

 

 

HIKI NŌ
Hosted by Sacred Hearts Academy

 

This episode of HIKI NŌ is hosted by Sacred Hearts Academy in the Kaimuki district of Honolulu.

 

Top Story:
Students from Waianae Intermediate School on Oahu tell the story of Momi Robins-Makaila, a Waianae Intermediate School teacher who has written a book about the domestic abuse she has suffered in her life and the effect it had on her son. TitledCandy Canes and Coke, Robins-Makaila’s book chronicles her abusive relationships and her journey toward healing.

 

Also Featured:
Students at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on Hawaii Island show how teenagers bridge the generation gap by helping senior citizens navigate new technology; students at Kapolei High School on Oahu profile a teenager who does not let his Type 1 Diabetes get in the way of his passion for BMX bike racing; students at Kalaheo High School on Oahu uncover a World War II bunker in Windward Oahu and discover its unique, post-war uses; students at Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle reveal the challenges facing an upcountry Maui farmer and the difficulty of getting food from farm to table; students at King Intermediate School on Oahu feature a tattooed woman who discusses her experiences with workplace attitudes toward her body art; and students at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School try to uncover a 101-year-old Kauai man’s secret to living a long and healthy life.