friendship

INDEPENDENT LENS
Accidental Courtesy

 

Meet African American musician Daryl Davis, who has a peculiar passion: meeting and befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan in an attempt to change their minds and forge racial conciliation, one racist at a time.

 

NATURE
A Sloth Named Velcro

 

Filmed in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia, this is a story of friendship between a journalist and the sloth she named Velcro and a network of people working to learn more about sloths in order to protect them. Once largely ignored, sloths have become a hot topic of scientific researchers. New studies show that they’re not so “sloth-like” after all: despite their reputation, sloths in fact sleep only about as much as humans do and are much more active in the wild than they are in captivity. Other studies have shown sloths are not as solitary as we thought, that they have social structures and that males even keep small harems of females. New research into the gait of sloths has revealed another surprise. X-ray images and photographic analysis show that sloths actually move just like primates, only upside-down.

 

A Royal Connection

 

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiBritain’s Queen Victoria, ruler of the most powerful nation in the world in her time, and Queen Emma of Hawai‘i, ali‘i of the most isolated archipelago, formed a friendship that bridged the long distance and the 17-year difference in their ages.

 

It was a friendship born of grief.

 

In the Hawaiian Journal of History, researcher Rhoda E.A. Hackler wrote about the queens’ 20-year, off-and-on correspondence.

 

Queen VictoriaQueen Victoria lost her husband and the father of their nine children when Prince-Consort Albert was just 42. The following year, the four-year-old son of Queen Emma and her husband, King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho), died of what was then described as “brain fever.” The child was named Albert, after Victoria’s husband.

 

Queen Victoria, still deeply mourning her husband’s death, reached out to Emma:

 

Queen Emma“As a mother you will understand how fully I am able to appreciate the depth of your grief…As a wife, I can sincerely hope that you may be spared the heavier blow which has plunged me into lifelong sorrow, but which makes my heart tenderly alive to all the sorrows of others.”

 

A year later, Emma wrote to Victoria:

 

“My heart is very, very heavy while I make known to Your Majesty that God has visited with me with that great trouble which in your kind and consoling letter you said you hoped I might be spared. On the 30th of November my Husband, of whose danger I had never entertained one thought, expired suddenly, almost while in the act of speaking to me, and it was a long while before they could make me believe that what I saw was death and that he had really left me alone for the remainder of my life.”

 

Victoria’s reply came quickly:

 

“…My bleeding heart can truly sympathize with you in your terrible desolation! A dear & promising only child & a beloved husband have both been taken from you within two years! Time does not heal the really stricken heart!..”

 

Two years after the death of Queen Emma’s husband, she traveled to England, raised money for the construction of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu, and met Queen Victoria.

 

Victoria penned in her journal:

 

“Nothing could be nicer or more dignified than her manner…She was dressed in just the same widow’s weeds as I wear.”

 

Later in Emma’s trip, she was accorded the honor of being asked to spend the night at Windsor Castle.

 

Over the years, the queens shared personal news, much of it sad. Victoria lost a grandchild to diphtheria; Emma noted that typhoid fever was ravaging the Islands, killing “the young and the strong.”

 

Always, in this correspondence between royal “dear friends,” there is a sense of gratitude in being able to express profound loss and in being heard and understood.

 

HOME FIRES ON MASTERPIECE
Part 6 of 6

 

Witness the bitter rivalry between Frances Barden (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame) and Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis) to control the Women’s Institute in a rural English town as it struggles with the onset of World War II.

 

Part 6 of 6
Alison tries to escape her troubles before the jig is up. Miriam experiences despair and joy. Pat is freed from tyranny. Laura’s secret is out.

 

HOME FIRES ON MASTERPIECE
Part 5 of 6

 

Witness the bitter rivalry between Frances Barden (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame) and Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis) to control the Women’s Institute in a rural English town as it struggles with the onset of World War II.

 

Part 5 of 6
Frances welcomes an evacuee. Laura follows her sister’s footsteps. Spencer is shunned. Teresa gets bad news and makes a confession.

 

HOME FIRES ON MASTERPIECE
Part 4 of 6

 

Witness the bitter rivalry between Frances Barden (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame) and Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis) to control the Women’s Institute in a rural English town as it struggles with the onset of World War II.

 

Part 4 of 6
Frances plans an air raid shelter. Alison breaks the law; so does Miriam. Steph hides a secret that threatens the farm. Kate gets shattering news.

 

HOME FIRES ON MASTERPIECE
Part 3 of 6

 

Witness the bitter rivalry between Frances Barden (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame) and Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis) to control the Women’s Institute in a rural English town as it struggles with the onset of World War II.

 

Part 3 of 6
Alison takes desperate steps to pay a bill. Claire asks Spencer out. Pat makes a speech but pays the consequences. The farmer and vicar do their duty.

 

HOME FIRES ON MASTERPIECE
Part 2 of 6

 

Witness the bitter rivalry between Frances Barden (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame) and Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis) to control the Women’s Institute in a rural English town as it struggles with the onset of World War II.

 

Part 2 of 6
The Women’s Institute is back, and the RAF arrives in town. Pat endures abuse. Alison’s dog has a close call. The local doctor faces up to his fate.

 

HOME FIRES ON MASTERPIECE
Part 1 of 6

 

Witness the bitter rivalry between Frances Barden (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame) and Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis) to control the Women’s Institute in a rural English town as it struggles with the onset of World War II.

 

Part 1 of 6
With World War II imminent, the local Women’s Institute dissolves after Joyce resigns as president. Frances tries to revive the group with a jam making project.