Oh, this is interesting: “Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch) is officially set to direct and produce a passion project of his that he’s been trying to get off the ground for years. This is an animated project that will tell a story inspired by the iconic Middle Eastern, Balkan and Asian folk hero Hodja Nasreddin.” At least, it’s interesting to me. Being in the SCA, I know a few Nasreddin (or Nasruddin) stories myself. In fact, you probably know this one:
Once upon a time, the great sage Nasruddin was arrested by a local Sultan, who for whatever reasons known best to Sultans, decided to put the sage to death. But before he could give the order, Nasruddin cried out: “O glorious and mighty Sultan!” – for Nasruddin was very wise, and knew the best time to speak of the virtues of another – “Give me but a year, and I can teach your favorite horse to sing!” Now, the Sultan himself knew how wise Nasruddin was, and certainly no other Sultan had a horse who could sing, so he agreed.
A few weeks later, some friends of Nasruddin came to visit him. They expected him to be in a noisome cell, but instead he was in a gleaming stable; with him was the Sultan’s finest steed. Nasruddin was busily at work feeding him, brushing him, whispering cantrips and Names and all sorts of charms into the horse’s ears, when his friends arrived. But he gladly greeted them, offering them teas and cakes from the Sultan’s very kitchens (for the Sultan was at least wise enough to know that one does not get silk from nettles). After they refreshed themselves, he asked them, “Friends! Why have you visited me?”
One of them spoke — after looking around, to be sure. “Nasruddin. It is us. Your friends, who you can trust with your life. What are you doing? You know no spells to teach a horse to sing! You will be dead in a year’s time!”
“Ah,” Nasruddin replied, “but now I do have a year, where before I merely had the headsman’s sword to look forward to. Much can happen in a year, friends. I might die, and thus miss my appointment with the headsman that way. The horse might die, through no fault of my own, and we would then all start over. Perhaps the Sultan might die, and then I will be freed by his heir, as part of the general amnesty of prisoners that happens then. Or” — and then he looked around — “after a few months where I do nothing untoward, I may find myself with many chances to escape.”
“And if all those plans fail?” Nasruddin shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe the damned horse will sing.”
…So, yeah. I’m going to be following this project with some interest.
4 thoughts on “Ooh: an animated Nasreddin project.”
One of my favorites.
At the risk of being a pedantic jerk,…first told by Herodotus in The Histories. 🙂
Are we sure who liberated it from whom?
Nasruddin seems to have operated in the 1200 ADs while Herodotus had his career in the 400 BCs, so unless time travel or remarkable precognition, on the part of Herodotus is in play my bet would be on Nasruddin borrowing from Herodotus rather than the other way around.
If you haven’t read Herodotus he’s definitely worthwhile IMO. He’s called The Father of History but he’s also called The Father Of Lies because he seems to have decided that it’s a historian’s job to never let a good story get away and felt that frequently telling his readers things along the lines of “It’s my job to record what I am told. Deciding whether or not you believe it is your job.” was as much concern for accuracy he needed to show. Which is just as well because several of things he doubted but recorded dutifully anyway turned out to be accurate. ^_^
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