Introducing poetry to a new generation of students in the form of an animated movie is always a good idea, it aids educators in their quest to help children facing the future of a world in turmoil.
Perhaps even more so when we discover that recently Kahlil Gibran’s extraordinary work The Prophet (1923) has become a new journey in film for children and adults to take together, one sure to pack a punch of emotional power.
The animated movie version features the richly resonating voice of Liam Neeson as The Prophet ‘Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn onto his own day’ who ‘… had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.’
Written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), the film intersperses Gibran’s elegant poetry, within stunning animated sequences supplied by award-winning animators from around the world.
Set to music from such luminaries as Irish singer-songwriters Damien Rice and Glen Hansard and French-born Chinese American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who is noted for exploring music as a means of communication and vehicle for the migration of ideas across a range of cultures throughout the world, it is sure to be a treat.
The text of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is available free on Project Gutenberg. The film started in the USA August 7, 2015 with events in Los Angeles and New York on its opening weekend and then expanding around the country. We can but only hope it comes to Australia.
The animated film is presented as a 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, love, work and freedom.
Lebanese born American author Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931) was a man for all seasons. He wrote timeless verses given form in a ‘painterly cinematic adventure about freedom and the power of human expression’.
He said ‘I prefer to be a dreamer among the humblest, with visions to be realized, than lord among those without dreams and desires’.
Words are how the world works. A visionary on a grand scale, Kahlil Gibran provided us all with an insight into his philosophies on life through passionate passages of such poetic and intellectual depth. They leap off the page and into your heart.
Through his wonderful words of infinite wisdom Kahlil Gibran guides us on a journey of self discovery so that in knowing ourselves we may be able to reach out and communicate across all social, religious and cultural divides.
The Prophet has sold over 100 million copies in forty languages since it was published in 1923.
With this extraordinary work Gibran provided a stunning legacy so that the entire world could touch creation.
As Almustafa leaves his city his heart is heavy with the parting and he is contemplative.
He counsels those alarmed at the thought of trying to deal with his absence because he has enriched their lives and emboldened their actions.
And so leaves them with a promise… ‘Brief were my days among you, and briefer still the words I have spoken. But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, and then I will come again…’
No one defines what religion is about more eloquently than 20th century philosopher and mystic poet Kahlil Gibran. He says ‘Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all’.
He also said ‘in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures’ and ‘progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life’
He urged everyone to ‘Trust their dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity’.
Watch the Trailer
Featuring the Voices of Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Quvenzhané Wallis, Alfred Molina, Frank Langella, Assaf Cohen, Gunnar Sizemore, Leah Allers