TVFrom the producers of the hit series, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman comes a new chapter, The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, that premieres on Wednesday, October 11 on National Geographic Channel.
Why do some people rise to power and others do not? Why do we fall in love — not just with romantic partners but with friends and strangers? How has our need to share beliefs built human culture? National Geographic aims to answer these questions (or at least ponder them) with the help of actor Morgan Freeman who will take viewers on another global journey to meet people from different cultures “whose lives are shaped in surprising ways by different fundamental forces, this time exploring themes that unite us all,” says National Geographic which will broadcast the show in 171 countries and in 45 different languages.
“In this time of growing social, racial and cultural divisions, The Story of Us reveals how we are bound together by our common humanity,” says Freeman. “Talking with three presidents and two Nobel Peace Prize winners and traveling to remote regions of Africa and Central America was a memorable experience for me. It was an incredible global journey to understand how human culture has taken on so many remarkable forms.”
Each of the six hour-long episodes will explore a single fundamental force or topic: freedom, peace, love, social division, power and rebellion. Along the way Freeman meets and speaks with powerful world leaders, ordinary people with extraordinary stories and everyone in between.
Here are some of the people Freeman will be talking to during the series:
One of three prison inmates put in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary in April 1972 after the killing of a corrections officer. He was kept in solitary confinement for more than 43 years until his conviction was overturned in 2014. He was finally released in 2016.
The president of Rwanda, whose people have been able to make peace after a horrific civil war. Freeman also meets with a Tutsi who has reconciled with the Hutu who killed her family.
A hairstylist from London who began a global social movement called #DoSomethingForNothing, which encourages people to carry out everyday small acts of kindness. For Coombes, that meant offering free haircuts to the homeless to help give them back their dignity.
A prominent member of the Westboro Baptist Church before leaving in 2012. Since then, she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was once taught to despise — especially the value of empathizing with people across ideological lines.
President Bill Clinton
Who discusses what it’s like to bear the weight of wielding great power, both in the United States and around the world.
One of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. The abuse of her brother at the hands of the police started her on the road to fighting for social justice.
The Six Episodes Include:
The March of Freedom - October 11
Freeman travels around the world in search of a greater understanding of the concept of freedom. From solitary confinement and forced labor camps, to social taboos and laws that hinder speech and expression, freedom seems to be a constant struggle. As individuals and as entire nations, we are confronted with the question: Will we all ever be truly free?
Freeman travels the world to study the cycles of war and peace. From the ritualized combat of the sacred Tinku festival in Bolivia to Rwanda’s postgenocide reconciliation program, this episode deals with humanity’s enormous capacity for violence and the endless pursuit of harmony. Conflict can drive innovation, but is war necessary? Physical barriers and a fear of destruction might make us more cautious, but is peace merely the absence of war?
The Power of Love – October 25
Can love change the world? Freeman is on a global quest to understand how this primal force binds us together as a species. From orphanages to battlefields, from arranged marriages to life on the streets, Freeman sees how love can be found in unexpected places—and how this force inspires us all.
Us and Them – November 8
Can we bridge the divide between “us and them?” At a time when the whole world seems to be polarizing into irreconcilable camps, Freeman sets out on a journey in search of the forces that push us apart, from intolerance of differences to fear of outsiders, and the possibilities of coming together.
The Power of Us – November 15
Can we find a way to distribute power so that everyone has their say? A U.S. president explains the challenges of making decisions that affect hundreds of millions of lives, and Freeman learns about an African woman who has created a society without men. He explores how the rise of the internet may fundamentally change how democracy works.
The Spirit of Rebellion – November 22
Freeman’s quest to understand what makes a rebellion successful brings him face-to-face with exiles, whistleblowers, hackers and movement leaders. From Berlin to Bolivia to the United States, he'll see the courage, dedication, hard work and hope that it takes to try to change the world.
The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman premieres on Wednesday, October 11 at 9:00 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.