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Positivity and Passion

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On today’s show, Leonard speaks with neuroscientist Tali Sharot about why our brains sometimes can be irrationally positive. We’ll find out about a new documentary about three young women held in an Afghan prison. John Turturro talks about his new film “Passione.” Plus, Eva Gabrielsson, novelist Stieg Larsson’s partner, describes her life with the writer.

A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot looks at the human brain’s tendency toward optimism. Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an often irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain looks at experiments, research, and findings in cognitive science that help explain the biological basis of optimism. Sharot examines how the brain generates hope and what happens when it fails.

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Love Crimes of Kabul

Director Tanaz Eshaghian talks about her film “Love Crimes of Kabul.” In Kabul, Afghanistan’s central woman’s prison, nearly half of the prisoners are young women imprisoned for the “moral crimes” of premarital sex, adultery, or running away from their husband and home. The film is a portrait of three young Afghan women accused of committing these crimes and follows them from prison to trial, and uncovers the pressures and paradoxes that women in Afghanistan face today. “Love Crimes of Kabul” is playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.

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John Turturro's "Passione"

John Turturro discusses his film “Passione,” an ode to the music and people of Naples, Italy. It premieres June 22 at Film Forum.

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Eva Gabrielsson on Her Life with Stieg Larsson

Eva Gabrielsson tells about her life with novelist Stieg Larsson—they were together from the age of 18 until his untimely death 32 years later. In There Are Things I Want You to Know: About Stieg Larsson and Me, Gabrielsson tells the story of their shared life and shared struggle for justice and human rights, and she offers an account of how he wrote, why he wrote, and who the sources were for Lisbeth and his other characters.

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Guest Picks: John Turturro

What is John Turturro listening to right now? Read more to find out.

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Guest Picks: Eva Gabrielsson

Eva Gabrielsson tells us why she loved watching "Winter's Bone" and shares some of her other favorite picks with us.

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