Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative

Publisher:
Radiotopia

Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative

4.1/5

Critic Rating

What really happens when stories about people’s lives are collected, edited, and consumed? Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking,Transformative is a four-part non-fiction series created by Jess Shane, about the nuts and bolts of documentary storytelling, the power dynamics between makers and subjects, and rewriting unwritten rules of the documentary and non-fiction content industry. Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent. Support for this project was provided in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson. For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.


Critic Reviews

Score: 1

Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter Mar 18, 2024

"I write from the perspective of a super listener, and I can say I did not enjoy the listening experience."

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Score: 1.5

The Crime Writers Squad • Crime Writers On Mar 14, 2024

"We've said over and over again - when telling a true story, you either betray your subject or betray your audience. Unable to decide which, Shane succeeded at betraying both. The result is as satisfying as finding half a worm in your apple."

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Score: 5

Hannah Verdier • The Guardian Feb 15, 2024

"When Jess Shane flips the power by advertising on Craigslist and paying her subjects in this quirky podcast, she lays her techniques bare…"

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Score: 5

Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter Feb 5, 2024

"It’s a wild listen. It’s not for folks who struggle with secondhand embarrassment."

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Score: 5

PR Staff • PodcastReview.org Feb 2, 2024

"...a podcast that grapples with the ethics of using people’s lives as content. After posting a Craigslist ad seeking subjects, Shane explores the power dynamics between makers and subjects, asking important questions about the medium’s preparedness for representing the sensitive parts of human life."

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Score: 5

Chiara Sagramola • Orecchiabile Newsletter Feb 1, 2024

"Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative è la storia di come si racconta una storia ed è e una finestra nella testa di un produttore, come fossimo in un film di Charlie Kaufman. È, soprattutto, un brillante e fresco invito a interrogarsi su cosa si ascolta, sul perché qualcuno ha deciso di appropriarsi della storia di qualcun altro, e quali sono i risvolti economici che questa decisione ha per entrambe le facce di questa complicatissima medaglia. ///////// Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is the story of how you tell a story and it's a window into a producer's head, as if we were in a Charlie Kaufman movie. It is, above all, a brilliant and fresh invitation to ask ourselves what we are listening to, why someone has decided to appropriate someone else's story, and what are the economic implications that this decision has for both sides of this very complicated coin."

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Score: 5

Devin • Podstack Jan 28, 2024

"It may be a bit meta, but in the most fascinating way."

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Score: 5

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Jan 20, 2024

"It’s all very meta, and at times made me think of The Rehearsal, the TV show-cum-social experiment in which Nathan Fielder...Not all goes to plan in Shane’s brave new audio world, and it’s the misunderstandings and disappointments of this new dynamic that make her series worth hearing."

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