Enhancing Film's Lessons with Classroom Curriculum

For several years, a diverse team of writers, actors, animators, and musicians has been working together to bring The Prophet, the bestselling book of lyrical prose by Khalil Gibran, to the big screen. Now opening in theaters nationwide, Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet offers a new take on the beloved classic. The film is an educational resource on its own, but an accompanying Curriculum Guide for teachers is also being made available to download for free.

What is film’s storyline and main message?

The animated film The Prophet is inspired by eight of the book’s poems. It takes place on the imaginary island of Orphalese where the poet and artist Mustafa continues his writing and painting, despite being under house arrest for many years. Mustafa is looked after by Kamila, a beautiful housekeeper, and Hakim, his friendly guard.  Upon his release, the poet is asked to share his wisdom with the townspeople. Some of the topics and poems featured in the film are Freedom, Children, Marriage, Work, Eating & Drinking, Love, Good & Evil, and Death.

The animated film was conceived, financed, produced, and released to reflect Gibran’s view of a diverse but harmonious world. Also, Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet portrays the human soul’s tri­umph over oppression through beauty, art, music, friend­ship, loyalty, tolerance, and love. In support of this vision, animators from many countries and cultures were selected to illustrate the story.

Who is behind the film?

There are several high-profile personalities that have contributed to the development of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. They include Salma Hayek who not only produced the film but also serves as the voice of Kamila, Mustafa’s housekeeper. Other distinguished celebrities include Liam Neeson as the voice of Mustafa, Quvenzhané Wallis as the voice of Almitra, and John Krasinski as the voice of Hakim. Roger Allers, best known for directing The Lion King, is both the writer and director of this new film.

Are there supplemental teaching tools available for teachers?

Through a national outreach campaign in the schools, teachers are encouraged to use this new film to start classroom discussions on the topics covered. To that end, teachers can download a free copy of The Prophet Curriculum Guide, a 110-page resource with standards-based lesson plans and activities. The Curriculum Guide includes interdisciplinary lessons that encourage both critical thinking and creativity.  Teachers can download a free copy at http://journeysinfilm.org/download/the-prophet-curriculum-guide/.

Why was it important for filmmakers to have a Curriculum Guide that coincides with the film?

Since the film’s inception, producer Salma Hayek partnered with her team to create the animated film version of The Prophet that can visually and musically take students—and teachers—on an adventure into Khalil Gibran’s poetry and wisdom. In her own words, Hayek hopes that “students’ minds will wander to their own lives during the film, as they reflect on the subjects that speak to them, such as friendship, freedom and love…”.  As an extension of this, the Curriculum Guide provides engaging opportunities to continue discussion on these and other themes within the film that are relevant to students today.

For additional details, read The Prophet press release.

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