Encore broadcast: Wednesday October 8 at 9:00 pm
A new local production from Prairie Public, 6 Brothers, explores the joys and challenges of life on the plains through the stories of the Stenberg brothers. Arnold, Casper, Christian, Henry, Raymond, and Selmer were the children of western North Dakota homesteaders, and they belonged to the generation that survived the Great Depression and experienced World War II.
None of them grew up to be famous; none of them grew up to be felons; and some of them didn’t get a chance to grow up. Though they have all since passed, their stories live on in others.
In this feature-length documentary, Daniel Stenberg dives deeply into his grandfather’s story. His grandfather was one of six brothers born to homesteaders in Western North Dakota. The family survived the Great Depression, became greatly involved in World War II, and experienced many other joys and challenges of living during one of America’s most intriguing time periods.
The six Stenberg brothers came of age in the Great Depression. One died during military service during World War II, another died at age nine due to appendicitis. The remaining brothers spent their years in, and around, McKenzie County with professions such as a brand inspector, a gas station owner, a farmer/rancher, and a handyman. This isn’t a story of “rags to riches” or “the rest of the story” of someone famous, but the story of the lives of many ordinary North Dakotan families who grew up at this time. As personal stories and scholarly facts are intertwined with family pictures, period pictures, informative statistics and background footage, the documentary is compelling, interesting and informative.
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Producer: Daniel Stenberg
Editor: Dave Geck
Executive Producer: Bob Dambach
Production funding provided by Basin Electric and an Operation Roundup grant from McKenzie Electric