storytelling

In This Together:
A PBS American Portrait Story

 

PBS invites America to be a part of its biggest initiative yet, PBS American Portrait, a national storytelling initiative that seeks to define what it really means to be an American today. To answer this question, PBS and its partners are collecting photos, videos and text submissions from across America to capture the state and spirit of our nation. Be heard and share your story now.

 

 

 

PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS
Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi

 

Opening Comments: Leslie Wilcox with Vera Zambonelli and Shirley Thompson, the producers of Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi

 

 

 

Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi

 

 

 

Closing Comments: Vera Zambonelli and Shirley Thompson

 

 

 

About the Film

 

Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi is an hour-long compilation of six locally produced short films that tells the stories of Hawaiʻi-based women filmmakers, taking them from behind the camera to out in front:

 

–CONNIE M. FLOREZ, Founder, Hula Girl Productions

 

HEATHER HAUNANI GIUGNI, Producer, Family Ingredients; Founder, ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi

 

–VICTORIA KEITH, Producer/camera operator, The Sand Island Story

 

CIARA LEINAʻALA LACY, Writer/producer/director, Out of State

 

–ANNE MISAWA, Director/cinematographer/producer; Associate Professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – Academy for Creative Media

 

JEANNETTE PAULSON HERENIKO, Founding Director, Hawaiʻi International Film Festival

 

The six short films recount each woman’s creative philosophies, challenges and triumphs in contributing to Hawaiʻi’s film industry.

 

The shorts are produced by Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit organization with a mission to redress gender inequity in the film industry. The organization’s executive director, Vera Zambonelli, directed the short film on Paulson Hereniko.

 

Hawaiʻi-based Women Filmmakers

 

REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI - Hawaiʻi-based women filmmakers: Top row l-r: Connie M. Florez, Heather Haunani Giugni, Victoria Keith. Bottom row l-r: Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy, Anne Misawa, Jeanette Paulson Hereniko.
Top row l-r: Connie M. Florez, Heather Haunani Giugni, Victoria Keith.
Bottom row l-r: Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy, Anne Misawa, Jeanette Paulson Hereniko.

 

“In Hawaiʻi, we have a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color,” Zambonelli said. “Most of them have never told their stories before, and their accomplishments are great. We need to research, record and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general.”

 

The series was also a training opportunity for young graduates of Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking’s educational programs. A team of veteran filmmakers guided the graduates along the production of the six short films. “We envisioned the series as an intergenerational project, where we put our active women filmmakers to work, documenting the stories of veterans of the field, while mentoring and training the next generation of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers,” Zambonelli said.

 

Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi producer Shirley Thompson sums up the importance of showcasing the stories of these and other women filmmakers. “[They] aren’t getting the same opportunities as men, in terms of hiring, pay, access to financing and access to gatekeepers,” she said. “Film is a powerful medium that shapes our very society. If we exclude women from writing those stories, or deciding which stories get told, we are excluding women’s voices from shaping our society and our future.”

 

 

 

REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI

Cover story by Liberty Peralta, PBS Hawaiʻi

 

REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI: On the cover, clockwise from top left: Connie Flores, Heather Haunani Giugni, Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, Ciara Leina‘ala Lacy, Victoria Keith and Anne Misawa

 

Since the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017, a spotlight on gender inequity in the historically male-dominated film industry has been shining brighter than ever. In April, PBS Hawaiʻi shines a local spotlight on our Islands’ own women filmmakers with a month-long presentation of their stories.

 

The presentation is anchored by the statewide broadcast premiere of PBS Hawaiʻi Presents: Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi on Thursday, April 30 at 9:00 pm. The hour-long compilation of six locally produced short films tells the stories of these Hawaiʻi-based filmmakers, taking them from behind the camera to out in front:

REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI Begins Thursday, April 30 at 9:00 pm. This presentation is sponsored by Waimea Valley, Hawaiian Airlines, DUNKIN' and PASHA HAWAII
CONNIE M. FLOREZ
Founder, Hula Girl Productions

 

HEATHER HAUNANI GIUGNI
Producer, Family Ingredients
Founder, ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni
Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi

 

VICTORIA KEITH
Producer/camera operator, The Sand Island Story

 

CIARA LEINA‘ALA LACY
Writer/producer/director, Out of State

 

ANNE MISAWA
Director/cinematographer/producer
Associate Professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa-
Academy for Creative Media

 

JEANNETTE PAULSON HERENIKO
Founding Director, Hawaiʻi International Film Festival

The six short films recount each woman’s creative philosophies, challenges and triumphs in contributing to Hawaiʻi’s film industry.

 

The shorts are produced by Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit organization with a mission to redress gender inequity in the film industry. The organization’s executive director, Vera Zambonelli, directed the short film on Paulson Hereniko.

 

Anne Misawa, Jeanette Paulson Hereniko and Connie M. Florez

 

“In Hawaiʻi, we have a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color,” Zambonelli said. “Most of them have never told their stories before, and their accomplishments are great. We need to research, record and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general.”

 

The series was also a training opportunity for young graduates of Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking’s educational programs. A team of veteran filmmakers guided the graduates along the production of the six short films. “We envisioned the series as an intergenerational project, where we put our active women filmmakers to work, documenting the stories of veterans of the field, while mentoring and training the next generation of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers,” Zambonelli said.

 

Victoria Keith, Hether Haunani Giugni and Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy

 

Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi producer Shirley Thompson sums up the importance of showcasing the stories of these and other women filmmakers. “[They] aren’t getting the same opportunities as men, in terms of hiring, pay, access to financing and access to gatekeepers,” she said. “Film is a powerful medium that shapes our very society. If we exclude women from writing those stories, or deciding which stories get told, we are excluding women’s voices from shaping our society and our future.”

 

As part of our month-long celebration of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers, PBS Hawaiʻi will air these encore presentations:

 

PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS

Kū Kanaka/Stand Tall
Directed and produced by Marlene Booth
Thursday, April 2, 9:00 pm


LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX

Heather Haunani Giugni
Tuesday, April 7, 7:30 pm


PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS

Under a Jarvis Moon
Co-directed and co-produced by Heather Haunani Giugni
Thursday, April 9, 9:00 pm


LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX

Ciara Leina‘ala Lacy
Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 pm


PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS

Out of State
Directed and co-produced by Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy
Thursday, April 16, 9:00 pm


PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS

Strange Land: My Mother’s War Bride Story
Directed by Stephanie Castillo
Thursday, April 23, 9:00 pm


LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX

Jeannette Paulson Hereniko
Tuesday, April 28, 7:30 pm


 

 

 

Connecting through Storytelling

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

Over the course of 13 years as CEO of PBS Hawaiʻi, I’ve had ample opportunity to experience something very delightful about our viewers:

 

Many of them are every bit as compelling in communicating as our professional storytellers.

 

Good storytellers know their audience. They know how to connect with emotion and imagination. I think that’s why many of our programs evoke strong responses; and it’s why our viewers’ letters “get” to us.

 

In correspondence, some of our viewers relate family stories passed down through the generations, describing intimate conversations at pivotal times of history, such as the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the Pearl Harbor attack and closely fought elections.

 

CEO Message: Connecting through Storytelling

 

It’s a wonderful exchange – viewers writing to amplify something they saw in one of our programs, or to add context, or to riff on a related thought. Often they’re telling of their own experience, after a story that aired on PBS Hawaiʻi has struck a chord in their life.

 

Responding to PBS NewsHour coverage of the crackdown on immigrants seeking shelter and work in the U.S., a Honolulu viewer wrote that more immigrants should be welcomed: “My grandfather, who came from Japan, worked from morning to night for three dollars a day. I am third generation and educated … I will not work at a job where I get dirty. I will not work at a job where I get smelly. I will not work at a job that requires me to carry more than five pounds. I am a typical third-generation immigrant.”

 

Another viewer reached out after seeing the American Experience episode about the Pacific search for Amelia Earhart. Just as if she were having an in-person conversation, she noted that the investigation didn’t seem to include the hypothesis that the ocean had swallowed all trace of evidence.

 

“I think that is really what happened,” she wrote. “But empirical research is never really satisfied with a ‘nothing’ outcome. There has to be something ‘real.’ And more importantly, there has to be ‘closure,’ which may not be true.”

 

As author Annette Simmons said, “Story gives people enough space to think for themselves. The story develops and grows in the mind of the listener …”

 

We’re all the richer for connecting through storytelling.

 

Mahalo nui,

Leslie signature

 

 

Another “Highest Possible” Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator!

Another “Highest Possible” Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator!

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

I sometimes feel like Forrest Gump when I open my office mail. It’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

 

Look inside and there may be notice of a snag in funding, a delay in expected tech equipment, or a demand for the retraction of a statement made on a television program not even carried by this station.

 

The other day, opening the mail was all joy – like finding a dark chocolate truffle, my favorite. Among the notes, viewer P.F. hand-wrote: “You have the best television programming in Hawaiʻi … Keep up the excellent work!” Viewer G.H. wrote, “You rocked my world with that NOVA special!”

 

And the sweetest chocolate of all in the mailbag: a formal letter from the head of the data-driven national nonprofit analyst Charity Navigator, informing us that we’d once again attained the best overall score possible – four out of four stars.

Charity Navigator: Four Star Charity Rating

“Only 32% of the charities
we evaluate have
received at least 2
consecutive 4-star
evaluations, indicating
that PBS Hawaiʻi
outperforms most other
charities in America.”

Michael Thatcher
President and CEO

The company’s President and CEO, Michael Thatcher, let us know that the company had assessed our financial health as strong. And we scored a perfect 100% rating in accountability and transparency.

 

Great news! It’s truly important to us to steward operations and funding, and to make forward-thinking, strategic decisions. I share the four-star news with you, because it is our wonderful donors and supporters who placed PBS Hawai‘i in this solid position. Thank you! We’re mindful that you voluntarily give to support our programming and services, and it fills the heart.

 

Our Board of Directors and Staff take nothing for granted. After all, each year brings to most nonprofit organizations headwinds of some kind – whether they be economic, programmatic, legal or political.

 

As PBS Hawai‘i greets the new year, we savor this moment in time, and feel profoundly grateful for our fellow Islanders and others who uphold us, as we uphold our non-profit, non-partisan mission.

 

And it’s a mission that’s better than the biggest emporium of the finest chocolates.

 

It speaks to building community and a stronger democracy. With your backing, we convene diverse voices, and share learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches lives.

 

May your 2020 be full of health and happiness,

Leslie signature

 

 

 

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs announces 2019 Gwen Ifill Legacy Fellows at local PBS stations

PBS HAWAI‘I – News Release

315 Sand Island Access Rd.| p: 808.462.5000| pbshawaii.org
Honolulu, HI 96819-2295| f: 808.462.5090

 

Read the full press release here at PBS.org

 

Washington, D.C. – PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL) has selected three talented aspiring female journalists for summer fellowships at their local PBS stations: Mercedes Ezeji at KLRU in Austin, Texas; Tiffany Sagucio at PBS Hawaiʻi’ in Honolulu, HI; and Jaylah Moore-Ross at WETA in Arlington, VA. Their work and training in local newsrooms honors the memory and legacy of pioneering journalist and PBS NewsHour co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill.

 

Tiffany Sagucio graduated from Kauaʻi High School this year and will be attending the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa to study journalism.

 

Kauaʻi High School graduate Tiffany Sagucio

Tiffany Sagucio

 

“Going into high school, I never expected becoming active in my digital media class,” said Sagucio. “I came to realize that everyone has their own story to share, and so do I. This class has shaped me to be optimistic, caring, and hardworking, like Gwen Ifill.”

 

Sagucio’s teacher, Leah Aiwohi, says the passion Sagucio developed for media and storytelling is inspiring.

 

 

 

Bank of Hawaii Foundation Renews Major Support for PBS Hawaiʻi’s HIKI NŌ

PBS HAWAI‘I – News Release

315 Sand Island Access Rd.| p: 808.462.5000| pbshawaii.org
Honolulu, HI 96819-2295| f: 808.462.5090

 

For questions regarding this press release, contact:
Jody Shiroma
jshiroma@pbshawaii.org
808.462.5026­

 

May 14, 2019

 

Download this Press Release

 

Bank of Hawaii Foundation major supporter of HIKI NŌ

(HONOLULU, HI) –– Bank of Hawaii Foundation has renewed its major support of PBS Hawaiʻiʻs youth learning initiative:  HIKI NŌ: The Nation’s First Statewide Student News Network, with a $100,000 grant. Bank of Hawaii Foundation’s investment dates back to the launch of HIKI NŌ in 2011.

 

Since then, Hawaii’s HIKI NŌ schools have gained the reputation of being formidable competitors at rigorous national journalism contests, including bringing home nearly 20% of the awards at the prestigious Student Television Network Convention held March 28-31 in Seattle, Washington and which involved over 3,000 students and teachers.

 

“Bank of Hawaii Foundation is honored to be a significant contributor to HIKI NŌ since inception,” said Momi Akimseu, president of Bank of Hawaii Foundation. “Our ongoing commitment helps local students across the islands continue the meaningful work of sharing their unique voices and perspectives in a very powerful way. We are proud to support a program of this caliber, which provides students the opportunity to develop digital storytelling skills and the means to connect their relevant stories and experience with our local community.”

 

PBS Hawaiʻi President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said the Foundation’s belief in Hawaiʻi’s youth is fueling a statewide “launch pad” for student achievement in real-world life skills such as perseverance, critical thinking, oral and written communications, teamwork and technology.

 

Under their teachers’ guidance, middle and high school students from more than 90 public, private and charter schools from across the islands use digital media to report from their communities.

 

Bank of Hawaii Foundation is HIKI NŌ’s trailblazing lead sponsor, with other major sponsors Kamehameha Schools and ABC Stores.

 

HIKI NŌ airs on PBS Hawaiʻi at 7:30 pm Thursdays, and is rebroadcast at 3:00 pm on Sundays. The student newscasts are always available to view on demand at www.pbshawaii.org.

 

 

 

A Modern Twist on a 19th-Century Classic

 

A Modern Twist on a 19th-Century Classic: Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

April program guide cover story by Jody Shiroma, PBS Hawai‘i

 

The story unfolds with Jean Valjean, a worn-out convict who cannot seem to break free from his life of crime, until a simple act of kindness changes his life for the better as he chooses to “pay it forward” by committing to save a young girl from a life of poverty.

 

Les Misérables: David Oyelowo as Javert, Dominic West as Jean ValjeanWhile you have probably heard of Les Misérables, or have seen the musical or the film of the musical, the dramatic interpretation of this classic novel on MASTERPIECE takes a new twist. Viewers tuning into the series will see the same story told differently, in a modern take on this French classic, as the team behind this television adaptation is ignoring the famous songs and instead embracing speaking-only roles in an ethnically diverse cast sporting British accents in a French setting. The intent is to add a contemporary feel to the 150-year-old story.

 

The series features an esteemed ensemble of actors to bring the story to life. It stars Dominic West in the iconic role of ex-convict Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as his nemesis Javert and Lily Collins as the destitute Fantine as key players in the amazing cast.

Les Misérables: Lily Collins as FantineThis television adaptation of Les Misérables brings the renowned classic by Victor Hugo vibrantly to life through colorful and fetching characters. Multi award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies goes back to the original novel and digs deep into the many layers of Hugo’s story, taking viewers on a roller coaster ride through Jean Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship set against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.

 

Les Misérables includes some of the most famous characters in European literature, and touches upon many of the same social problems that we face today – the struggle of poverty, crime and punishment, good vs. evil, social injustice and wrong vs. right.

 

Director Tom Shankland says: “Working with this incredible cast on Andrew Davies’ fantastic adaptation of Les Misérables, really is a dream come true. We want to capture the thrilling spirit of passion and protest in Victor Hugo’s novel and make it feel more relevant than ever. The conviction, intensity and authenticity that all of these actors bring to their work is going to be a massive part of making this story speak to audiences everywhere.”

Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

Sundays at 8:00 pm
April 14 – May 19, 2019
on PBS Hawaiʻi
Watch a preview here

 
Les Misérables on Masterpiece

 

 

 

HAWAIʻI STUDENTS FROM HIKI NŌ: THE NATION’S FIRST STATEWIDE STUDENT NEWS NETWORK, TAKE HOME NEARLY 20% OF AWARDS AT MAJOR NATIONAL COMPETITION

PBS HAWAI‘I – News Release

315 Sand Island Access Rd.| p: 808.462.5000| pbshawaii.org
Honolulu, HI 96819-2295| f: 808.462.5090

 

For questions regarding this press release, contact:
Jody Shiroma
jshiroma@pbshawaii.org
808.462.5026­

 

April 8, 2019

 

Download this Press Release

 

HAWAIʻI STUDENTS FROM HIKI NŌ: THE NATION’S FIRST STATEWIDE STUDENT NEWS NETWORK, TAKE HOME NEARLY 20% OF AWARDS AT MAJOR NATIONAL COMPETITION

HAWAIʻI STUDENTS FROM HIKI NŌ: NEWS NETWORK,
TAKE HOME NEARLY 20% OF AWARDS
AT MAJOR NATIONAL COMPETITION

 

HONOLULU—Hawaiʻi students from HIKI NŌ: The Nation’s First Statewide Student News Network, brought home nearly 20% of the awards at the prestigious Student Television Network (STN) Convention, a rigorous student media competition held March 28 – 31 in Seattle, Washington. The four-day event – open to intermediate and high schools across the U.S. – played host to 3,000 students and teachers.

 

Twenty-three Hawaiʻi schools competed and won a total of 35 awards.

 

PBS Hawaiʻi’s eight-year-old HIKI NŌ (Hawaiian for “Can Do”) educational initiative has helped Island students become national standouts in quality digital storytelling, a medium that is at the forefront with youth.

 

Through HIKI NŌ, students are learning not only the skills of digital storytelling but how to apply them to real-world challenges.

 

Ewa Makai Middle School teacher Ethan Toyota acknowledges HIKI NŌ’s role in their success at the competition. Toyota said, “We really wouldn’t have gotten this far without HIKI NŌ and all of the supportive Hawai‘i media teachers.” Ewa Makai Middle School took home three awards, including first place for Spot Feature.

 

First-time attendee, Janet Powell of Kauaʻi’s Island School, noted that her students could not have competed without HIKI NŌ training.

 

Under their teachers’ guidance, students from 90 public, private and charter schools from across the islands participate in HIKI NŌ, which is based on curriculum that builds skills in storytelling, critical thinking, teamwork and technology.

 

“PBS Hawaii’s HIKI NŌ program has proven to be a launchpad for many Hawaiʻi students in gaining these real-world skills and excelling at a national level. Congratulations to the students and their teachers!” Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaiʻi president and CEO said.

 

HIKI NŌ is primarily supported by charitable foundations with lead sponsors: Bank of Hawaii Foundation, Kamehameha Schools and ABC Stores.

 

Winning schools and categories listed below:

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

Convention Recap (Middle School)
Second place: Maui Waena Intermediate School
Honorable mention: Ewa Makai Middle School

 

Spot Feature (Middle School)
First place: Ewa Makai Middle School
Second place: Island School
Honorable mention: Maui Waena Intermediate School

 

Movie Trailer (Middle School)
Third place: Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
Honorable mention: Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle School

 

Nat. Package (Middle School)
Third place: Waianae Intermediate School
Honorable mention: Highlands Intermediate School

 

Public Service Announcement (Middle School)
Second place: Maui Waena Intermediate School
Honorable mention: Kealakehe Intermediate School

 

Silent Film (Middle School)
Third place: Kapaa Middle School

 

Anchor Team (Middle School)
Honorable mention: Kapaa Middle School

 

Music Video (Middle School)
Second place: Waianae Intermediate School

 

Crazy 8s Broadcast News Magazine (Middle School)
First place: Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
Second place: Maui Waena Intermediate School

 

Crazy 8s Short Film Fiction (Middle School)
Second place: Waianae Intermediate School
Third place: Ewa Makai Middle School
Honorable mention: Maui Waena Intermediate School

 

HIGH SCHOOL

 

Tell The Story Editing (High School)
Honorable mention: Moanalua High School

 

Nat. Package (High School)
Honorable mention: Maui High School

 

Commercial (High School)
Honorable mention: Maui High School

 

PSA (High School)
Third place: McKinley High School

 

Weather Reporting (High School)
Third place: Waianae High School

 

Multimedia Journalist (High School)
Honorable mention: Moanalua High School
Honorable mention: Waianae High School

 

Music Video (High School)
Honorable mention: Waiakea High School

 

Video Tip (High School)
Third place: Maui High School

 

Crazy 8s Broadcast News Magazine (High School)
Second place: Waianae High School

 

Crazy 8s Short Film Documentary (High School)
First place: Kamehameha Schools Maui High School

 

Crazy 8s Short Film Fiction (High School)
Honorable mention: Moanalua High School

 

Crazy 8s Broadcast Morning Show (High School)
Honorable mention: Maui High School

 

Excellence Awards

 

National Winner: Broadcast Excellence–Monthly Show
Waianae High School

 

South Pacific/International Regional Winner: Broadcast Excellence—Weekly Live/Taped News Show
Moanalua High School

 

Film Excellence—Best Directing
Moanalua High School

 

 

 

A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

 

CEO Message

 

A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI was a barefoot third-grader, playing with hula hoops in a friend’s garage in Āina Haina, when I spied a stack of old comic books.

 

That was my unlikely introduction to Les Misérables. The foreign words were on the cover of a Classics Illustrated comic book, where a man carrying another was running from pursuers in a rat-infested tunnel.

 

My playmate and I dropped our hoops and hunched over that top book in the stack. The drawings were dramatic – and even more striking were the words, painting the story of a man who was both hero and crook, good and bad, trusted and untrustworthy, long-suffering and impatient, a man who hated and loved.

Comic book cover art of Victor Hugo's Les MisérablesWe’d found a magic comic book that was not the usual kid stuff of bright, positive absolutes.

 

Even though the story was set far away and long ago, it resonated deeply. It spoke to the confusing contradictions I’d already experienced in my young life – a father who promised to be home at night but rarely was; an admired teen scholar/ athlete who kicked his dog when he thought no one could see; and the much-feared school bully who was understanding and even gracious when I accidentally hit him in the face with a kickball.

 

A couple of years later, during summer vacation, I wanted more than the comic book version of Les Misérables. As it turned out (just my luck!), the hardcover novel is one of the longest books in European literature, nearly 1,500 pages. On top of that, I needed to have a second book handy, the dictionary. I still remember the first of many words I looked up: morass.

 

Reading the novel sometimes felt like slogging through a morass. Author Victor Hugo would digress into long, detailed histories – of the Battle of Waterloo, the construction of Paris sewers and more. Those parts, I skimmed.

 

However, I was forever held by the main story line which famously starts with Jean Valjean sent to prison for stealing bread to feed his widowed sister’s seven children. The story enveloped me in a world in which I was often trying to decipher the boundaries of right and wrong, good and evil, war and peace, love and hate.

 

Later, when I covered poverty as a journalist, I would return to Les Misérables to re-read this stinging quote: “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”

 

Since childhood, I’ve always been eager to see new adaptations of Les Misérables, on stage and screen. I hope you’ll join me in spirit, on the community sofa, to view this latest PBS television presentation.

 

Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

Sundays at 8:00 pm
April 14 – May 19, 2019
on PBS Hawaiʻi

 

Learn more about Les Misérables
in our program guide cover story by
Jody Shiroma, VP of Communications, PBS Hawaiʻi.

 

Aloha Nui,

Leslie signature


 

 

 

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