Opening in New York and Los Angeles August 7 (with more cities in the coming weeks), Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is an animated feature based on Gibran’s seminal work. Produced by Salma Hayek, the feature is blessed with diverse and resonant animated sequences from filmmakers Bill Plympton (Guide Dog), Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), and Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea).
“I wanted to make a film that inspired people,” said Hayek, whose previous producing credits include the successful TV series Ugly Betty and The Maldonado Miracle, which she also directed. “Because of my humanitarian work, I have seen the distress around the world – and sometimes it makes you lose hope. I think the only thing that is going to save us is that we can somehow reconnect to our humanity.”
Though she was armed with first rate musicians (Glen Hansard, Damien, Gabriel Yared, Yo-Yo Ma) and talented voice actors (the cast includes Hayek, Liam Neeson, and Quvenzhané Wallis), Hayek had her share of difficulties in making the film. “We had to invent a new form of animation and we had to do a lot of miracles,” added Hayek.
Part of Hayek’s challenging yet ultimately fulfilling journey with Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet brought her to Lebanon (the Gibran Museum is located in Bsharri). In the clip below, Hayek talked about how her stay in Lebanon turned out to be an inspiring and uplifting experience: