This short student film, produced as part of a Director in the Classroom workshop, illustrates the potential of using filmmaking in the classroom to help students connect literature to their modern lives.
Students were asked to update a piece of historic fiction, in this case a Turkish folk tale about Nostraji Hodja called Eat, My Coat, Eat, (below)
Students wrote, filmed and edited a short film that looked at how people still make assumptions based on appearances.
What I love about it, is that it demonstrates how students can incorporate literature, technology, writing, drama, geography into a single project and most importantly, how they can explore how a piece of literature written 500 years ago, in a country half way around the world, could have relevance to their life.
-Nikos Theodosakis, Director in the Classroom
Hodja -Eat, My Coat, Eat
The Hodja was invited to a banquet. Not wanting to be pretentious, he wore his everyday clothes, only to discover that everyone ignored him, including the host. So he went back home and put on his fanciest coat, and then returned to the banquet. Now he was greeted cordially by everyone and invited to sit down and eat and drink.
When the soup was served to him he dunked the sleeve of his coat into the bowl and said, "Eat, my coat, eat!"
The startled host asked the Hodja to explain his strange behavior.
"When I arrived here wearing my other clothes," explained the Hodja, "no one offered me anything to eat or drink. But when I returned wearing this fine coat, I was immediately offered the best of everything, so I can only assume that it was the coat and not myself who was invited to your banquet."