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Joan Konner

Comments from
the show’s creators

Joan Konner

Executive Producer of The Mystery of Love

I was motivated to do a television program on the subject of Love because I felt strongly that the experience of love in my own life did not correspond with the images of love that dominated the popular culture.

I thought that the stories being told in the mainstream media — movies, magazines and on television — were one dimensional and misleading caricatures of love, too heavily concentrated on passionate sexual romance. Even more disturbing was that the distorted representation of love was causing many people to be unhappy in love by not being able to live up to, or down to, the idealization and degradation of fictional love and its Hollywood endings, happily or unhappily ever after.

As a journalist, I became interested in learning as much as I could about the subject of Love, real love. Some might say I became obsessed with it.
 
In a world of competition, manipulation, violence and war, a world that seems headed for mass self-destruction, we need to put love on the public agenda. We need to honor and appreciate love in its many manifestations—in families, friendships, communities and more. We need to expand our definition of love and to honor and respect the many deep connections that sustain a healthy life and society. 

I learned, and, I hope, viewers learn from The Mystery of Love that Love is more than Romance, although romance, if fleeting and transitory, is very important. I learned and I hope the program communicates that there is no hierarchy of love, that love of a pet or love of music is as important as friendship and love of the divine, as many of the most respected writers tell us. I also learned that all loves are related, like overlapping circles or like the petals of a flower.
 
What all loves have in common is the transcendence of the self, of the ego, that makes possible connection of one individual to another. As Dante wrote in The Divine Comedy, and the program reports, Love is seeing yourself, the world, the universe reflected in the Other’s eyes.
 
We hope the stories in this program will awaken an appreciation of the presence and the potential of love as it manifests in everyday life.

The producers of The Mystery of Love

Sam Pollard, who produced the segment on “Love & Romance”:

Emily Lodine and Gary Overgaard
Emily Lodine and Gary Overgaard

I produced the segment with Emily and Gary and I found them to both be unique. I was amazed at how much they love each other and their love is one that comes across in an adult way. They are warm, funny and friendly with each other. It was a pleasure to spend the little time I did with them. It was only the smell of the pigs that got to me.

Christopher Lukas, Senior Producer, Co-writer, who produced “The Communal Heart,” the segment with Conspirare:

Craig Hella Johnson with Conspirare
Craig Hella Johnson with Conspirare

When I first heard about Conspirare, I was taken back by the strong expressions of amazement: people were startled that the diverse soloists were drawn into a “spiritual” bond with each other, and that the conductor, Craig Hella Johnson, had an “astounding” rapport with them. I had sung in choruses most of my life, and I didn’t quite believe what I heard. We always gave up our personal egos to participate in a group singing event; we always found it spiritually fulfilling. However, when I went to Austin to interview Craig and to videotape the chorus, I found that there was more to Conspirare than I had thought. Craig is an astonishingly deep man, with great talent, not only in music, but in human relations. He does bring these varied singers of different backgrounds into his sphere. They feel the love of music that he brings to them and, I dare say, his love for them, as well.

 

Amy Goodman, who produced the segment on “Love & Friendship,” about Camilla Williams and Boris Bazala:

Boris Bazala and Camilla Williams
Boris Bazala and Camilla Williams

Working with Camilla and Boris was inspiring. Together, they have a palpable chemistry. Like long-time married couples or close siblings, the two of them speak a private language with subtle physical movements and tones of voice. Their love takes the form of friendship based on shared history, easy companionship, and most of all, a deep artistic collaboration. Camilla and Boris remind me that friendship – and all love – is a creative enterprise, born of passion and spark, needing cultivation to survive. For them and for me, friendship is also about comfort, identity, and feeling less alone in the world. I hope that as I age, I have such long-lasting friendships that enrich the present and remind me of the past.

About working on this film, The Mystery of Love

In our production meetings and in conversations with friends and family during the course of production, I asked questions about love that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I dwelled on love. My ideas about love didn’t change while making this documentary but I was reminded how important it is to think about love and nurture it.

 

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WHEN TO WATCH

The Mystery of Love premieres December 13, 2006

Check your local listings.

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