The Prophet (2014 film)
The Prophet is an animated 2014 film in which exiled artist and poet Mustafa embarks on a journey home with his housekeeper and her daughter; together the trio must evade the authorities who fear that the truth in Mustafa's words will incite rebellion.
- I have seen people throw themselves down and worship their own freedom, like slaves before a tyrant. Praising him though he slays them. I have seen the freest among them wear their freedom as a handcuff, and my heart bled within me. For you can only be free when you no longer speak of freedom as a goal. And how can you be free, unless you break the chains you have fastened around yourself? In truth, that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun. And to become free, what would you remove that is not a part of yourself? If it's a tyrant, his throne was built within you. If it's a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you. And if it's a fear you would drive away, the root of that fear is in your heart, and not in the hand of the feared. These things move within you, as lights and shadows in constant half-embrace. You'll be free indeed, not when your days are without a care, nor you nights without grief, but rather when these things bind up your life, and yet you rise above them, unbound.
- [giving newlywed advice as an older couple flamenco dances] You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Yes, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music. [a glass is accidentally shattered] Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping, for only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. [now dancing on broken glass] And stand together, yet not too near together, for pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
- All work is noble. You work that you may keep peace with the earth, and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. When you work you are a flute, through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. And when you work with love, you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, and to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching. Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, one who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil. And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet. But I say, not in sleep, but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than it does to the smallest blades of grass; And they are great, who turn the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by their own loving. Work is love made visible.
- Let us not be too quick to call others evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Truly when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters. You are good when you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself. For when you strive for gain, you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast. Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance." For the fruit, giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.
- [standing before the firing squad] Farewell people of Orphalese! Patient is the captain of my ship, and restless are the sails. The mariners have heard the song of the sea and will wait no longer. I am ready. Do not forget that I will come back to you. A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body. A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me. Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you. It was just yesterday we met in a dream. But now sleep has fled, our dream is over and we must part. If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we will speak together again, and you shall sing me a deeper song.
- There are all kinds of cages. This house has been mine for seven years. My crime? Poetry.
- Dear Almitra, we don't need to be afraid of death, for life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. How would we know the secret of death unless we look for it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind in the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond. And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow, your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
- [last lines] When you part from your friend, you grieve not. For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence. And let there be no purpose in friendship, save the deepening of the spirit.
- Vendor: Quite a handful, your daughter, no?
- Kamila: Actually, she's very sweet.
- Vendor: Yes. Like lemons.
- Kamila: With honey.
- Pasha: [about newlyweds] Kissing. That's all he knows. Give her time to eat, for heaven's sake.
- Mustafa: They're newlyweds. That's what they're supposed to do, right?
- Grand Father: Who knows? The last time I kissed a pretty girl, the Dead Sea was only sick.
- Kamila: [takes away into the prison by villagers] Wait, were taking to jail? What's wrong with parents?!
- Halim: [befuddled] I know everyone sees me as this self-assured, dauntless, impenetrable fortress of strength. Ahh! But, um, the truth is, and this might surprise you, I actually have one thing that fills me with fear.
- Mustafa: And that is?
- [villagers lean in to listen]
- Halim: [whispering] Expressing feelings on love.
- Mustafa: Ah, love. For Kamila?
- Halim: You knew?