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“If [the teacher] is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”
On the imaginary island of Orphalese, the poet and artist Mustafa continues his writing and painting, despite being under house arrest for many years. He is looked after by Kamila, a beautiful housekeeper, and Hakim, his friendly guard. Kamila’s troubled, silent young daughter, Almitra, forms an unlikely friendship with Mustafa. When he is released from house arrest and ordered to leave the country, she trails along. On the way, Mustafa passes by a village wedding, an outdoor café, and a marketplace. At each place, the poet is asked to share his wisdom with the townspeople. Immensely popular and revered by the townspeople, he is increasingly perceived as a threat by the authoritarian government of Orphalese.
The film is inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s beloved book of poetic essays, The Prophet, but there is so little plot in the original story—just a man waiting for a ship and addressing his followers, that producer Salma Hayek felt that additional background, characterization, and events would make the film more accessible and more appealing to families.
THE CURRICULUM GUIDE
Lesson 1: Who Was Kahlil Gibran? (Art History, Philosophy, Social Studies, English Language Arts)
Lesson 2: The Art of Kahlil Gibran (Art, Art History)
Lesson 3: On Freedom (English Language Arts)
Lesson 4: On Children (English Language Arts)
Lesson 5: On Marriage (English Language Arts)
Lesson 6: On Work (English Language Arts)
Lesson 7: On Eating and Drinking (English Language Arts)
Lesson 8: On Love (English Language Arts)
Lesson 9: On Good and Evil (English Language Arts)
Lesson 10: On Death (English Language Arts)
Lesson 11: The Visual Imagery of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (Film Literacy)