Inspiration Report

The National Geographic series “The Story of Us” will reveal the common humanity that lies inside each one of us like love, compassion, justice, peace and freedom. Morgan Freeman travels the globe in search for this answer. “I’ve always been curious, some people call it nosy. That is the driving force of wanting to do and loving to do this type of material,” Freeman said. “It puts you face-to-face “with people way outside of your experience,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer tour.

Each of the 6 hour-long episodes will explore a single fundamental force or topic: freedom, peace, love, social division, power. “The Story of Us” follows the success of “The Story of God,” which Freeman hosted as well.

Executive produce James Younger said the mission of the show is understanding the commonalities we share as humans. “What we’re looking for is how we are linked together. In the history of humanity is always the story of us and the story them. We live in a time where people think that the ‘them’ is getting bigger and the ‘us’ is getting smaller. We felt like this is time to focus on what brings us together and see if we can open people’s eyes to how we can incorporate more of ‘them’ into ‘us.’”

Freeman will talk with people like former inmate Albert Woodfox who was one of the inmates put in solitary confinement 1972 after the killing of a corrections officer. Woodfox was kept in solitary confinement for more than 43 years until he was released in 2016. Joshua Coombes is a hairstylist from London who began a social movement called #DoSomethingForNothing to encourage people to perform random acts of kindness. Paul Kagame is the president of Rwanda. He was able to make peace the horrific civil war. Megan Phelps-Roper was a member of the Westboro Baptist Church before leaving in 2012. “The show will share her journey as today she’s an advocate for people and ideas she was once taught to despise — especially the value of empathizing with people across ideological lines.”

The episodes will dig deeper into the heart of conflict and war. In the episode, “The Fight for Peace” Freeman will 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. “The March of Freedom” is an episode where 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.

“The Story of Us” with Morgan Freeman premieres Oct. 11 on National Geographic Channel.

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