It’s about love, marriage, friendship, birth, death, work; it’s about life.
“The Prophet”, a classic book by Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran is all one really needs as a timeless guide to live a fulfilled life in perspective. Quoted around the world, and widely known as the Bible of the 60’s, Gibran’s 26 prose poetry essays are the most accurate descriptions put into crystal clear phrases and scenarios for any one person at any stage in life to take in, grasp, and live wisely through its philosophy.
Since the day “The Prophet” was published in 1923, it has never stopped cascading from bookshelves through generations and into the hands of religious and atheists alike. This book has had an overwhelming influence globally as the subject matter relates to every kind of human, and has been transformed to various films in its time of existence.
Among all those films, “Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet”, is an animated take on Gibran’s writings. Produced by Salma Hayek and directed by a team of nine renowned animation directors from around the world including Tomm Moore, Joann Sfar, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, and Michal Socha; this animated picture presents eight of Gibran’s poems . Lion King’s director, Roger Allers, then tied it together into a complete feature film. This film was Salma Hayek’s pride and joy, and she jumped over many obstacles to mollify success of this feature film. Rights to the book took years, rounding up a decent budget took precision, and making sacrifices took courage and tough decision-making, but the film molded into a 2-D animated work of art that was showcased at film festivals around the world, particularly at the Festival De Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival. With a distinguished cast including Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson, and John Krasinski, the film ties current voices to an old story, allowing the audience to form a relationship to the characters.
There are many ways one can perceive Gibran’s poems, and these directors take on the challenge to portray each poem’s meaning in the deepest manner, creating a profound understanding for the audience through storytelling and richness in their characters. This animated picture is about an unlikely friendship between a young, mischievous girl and an imprisoned poet. The film is open to interpretation to each individual as it delves into a world of love, dreams, and life. Though it has not reached distribution in the U.S. yet, it’s only a matter of time until we see this classic book turned into a colorfully animated tale on billboards across the country soon.
Inspired by the beloved classic, Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a young, mischievous girl and an imprisoned poet. Interwoven with Gibran’s lyrical and inspiring words on topics such as the true nature as love, work, children, and freedom, this work-in-progress screening features highlights of animation and music.
By Daniela Celi
Photo: Courtesy of Daniela Celi