For Immediate Release
July 15, 2009
WTTW Airs New Local Two-Part Documentary: Islands Without Cars
The Siren Song of Hydra airs Tuesday, August 4 at 10:30 pm
Exploring the Island of Sark with Kira airs Wednesday, August 5 at 10:30 pm
Chicago – July 15, 2009 – WTTW will premiere two unique independent documentaries that take a rare and whimsical look at life on islands without cars, where everyone travels – and transports goods – by donkey, bicycle and other non-motorized vehicles. Islands Without Cars, written and produced by 3-time local Emmy winner Terry Spencer Hesser (Treasures of the Art Institute, A War on All Fronts: The Life and Times of Robert R. McCormick, Artbeat Chicago), debuts on WTTW on Tuesday, August 4 and Wednesday, August 5 at 10:30 pm. The programs will also air on WTTW Prime (11.2) on Wednesday, August 5 (Hydra) and Thursday, August 6 (Sark), both at 4:30 pm.
- The Siren Song of Hydra (August 4) is an exploration into the lives of American and British ex-patriot writers and artists who have responded to the Siren's call and reinvented their lives on Hydra, a preserved architectural and historical landmark and the only developed Greek island without cars. Interviews include internationally acclaimed Hydriot artist Panayotis Tetsus at a showing of his paintings, along with a host of ex-patriots who have followed in Henry Miller and Leonard Cohen's footsteps to make Hydra their home. This is an opportunity to see what it is really like to escape to a Greek island.
- Exploring the Island of Sark with Kira (August 5) is a unique look at the last feudal state in the western world – a tiny ruggedly beautiful island in the English Channel with only 600 contentedly car-phobic residents. Interviews include Seigneur Michael Beaumont, the feudal lord who inherited the island from his grandmother – the infamous Dame of Sark. The program features an "improper" tea (thanks to the Americans) with a founding descendent, an interview with the island judge (who is not a lawyer), a look at the single cell jail for drunkards, as well as demonstrations in pottery-making, chocolate-mixing, carriage driving and cave exploring. Interviews include a rocking horse carver, a water-colorist and a hotel operator straight out of Fawlty Towers.
"This series has been a unique opportunity to explore places that exist according to different rules, in sync with nature," said writer/producer Terry Spencer Hesser. "Sitting on an island without cars and listening to nature, to laughter, and to the ocean is really an opportunity to listen to ourselves – our voices which are quiet and often drowned out in the noise of modern life. Finally, it is a joy to be able to work with my daughter as an on-camera guide...and also with a funder with very creative ideas about meaning," she added.
Islands Without Cars is hosted by Hesser's daughter, feature film actress Kira Spencer Hesser (Matilda) as lively tour guide. The program was creatively conceived by Melissa Sage Fadim of Sage Foundation.
For more than 50 years, audiences have turned to WTTW for distinctive programming that informs, inspires, educates, and entertains. It reaches 1.5 million weekly households over a four-state area, making it one of the most-watched public television stations in America. Recognized for its award-winning local and national productions, WTTW is committed to presenting the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children's programming across its four distinct television channels: WTTW HD, WTTW Prime, its Spanish-language channel V-me, and WTTW Create. For more information about WTTW programming across all its platforms, please visit our web site at www.wttw.com.