The Beauty and the Problems in ‘Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet’


This past week, I made my debut as a contributor to The Tidings, the venerable newspaper for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and for Angelus News, its online counterpart.

The subject is the new animated version of Lebanese Maronite Catholic writer Kahlil Gibran’s 1923 book “The Prophet,” which premiered in selected theaters this weekend, and will roll out to more.

Click here to read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt of the piece, which includes an interview with executive producer and actress Salma Hayek:

Hayek was also raised a Catholic, but as she told the U.K. Guardian last September in an interview coinciding with the film’s release at the Toronto Film Festival, “I am a spiritual person, but I am not a religious spiritual person. I don’t want anyone giving rules to my relationship with God or my spirituality.”

In the same piece, she also said, “I have respect for [Catholicism] and I got a lot of good things out of it. I believe in values that are very similar to Catholics.”

Speaking to The Tidings in Los Angeles last week, Hayek stayed with the same universalist theme.

“[Gibran] talks about the simple things of life that bring us all together, regardless of our differences. Love, death, food, children, marriage — he does it all with an appreciation of it,” she said.

“A lot of us, when we read it, you find a sentence — not all of it, but there’s a sentence here or there, and it’s not just Kahlil Gibran, but sometimes you find things that seem comforting and familiar to you, not because you’ve read them before,” Hayek added.

“But I believe that when this happens, it’s not because it’s your brain that’s talking to you, but it’s your soul that is telling you, ‘This is the truth.’ It’s very simple,” she said.

“This place that finds that connection, I believe it’s also where your instincts live. So, I was hoping that through this book, through this movie, when people see it, they would go to that place, even if it’s once or twice.”


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