The Mystery of Whom We Love

John Sayles’ long career as a writer/director is unusually replete with insight, but his Lianna  has an especially compelling script for considering the surprises and mysteries awaiting us as we try to figure out what and whom we love.

If, like me, you are fascinated by the boundary line between the things we can understand and those things we will never understand,  Lianna  can always serve to push back against any tendency we might have to over-extend our hubris by thinking that it is just a matter of time before we can understand human yearnings and behavior.

This film immediately came to mind today when I was reading Isaiah Berlin’s essay “Realism in Politics” in The Power of Ideas because he argues that the central intellectual struggle in the last 200 years has been between those who see the methods of the natural sciences as the route to understanding humans and those who see those methods as highly limited for that compelling project. Try as we might, I do not comprehend how science explains the loves of Lianna.

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