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Hardest Hobbit to Break, The — Dominic Phillips, 2018

Beyond the Shire and beyond hope, Paul lives his life under the delusion that he is a Hobbit.

Paul is a 6-foot 5 man who believes he is a Hobbit from Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ stories. This mockumentary follows him one day as he travels, not across Middle Earth, but across Edinburgh. His mum, bus driver and local barmaid all weigh in with their thoughts about Paul and his strange behaviour. Can Paul break this Hobbit…sorry, habit? And does he want to?

Classroom Activities

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  • Consider the film’s opening shot. What can you see? What kind of camera shot is being used? Why is this an effective opening to the film? How does it help to create the film’s tone?
  • What moments can you identify that seem to emphasise the main character’s disconnection and possible loneliness?
  • What documentary filmmaking techniques are used in this film? Why are these techniques used and how do they lend a sense of reliability and truth to a documentary?
  • This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Project and had to feature these elements: Genre - Fantasy / Fish out of water; Character - Dr McKenzie Menendez; Prop – Popcorn; Line of dialogue - "I love you". How well do you think each element has been integrated into the film?


  • Are you familiar with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films or books? Can you identify the references used in this film?
  • Paul clearly is living under a delusion but is mostly quite happy. Do you think he should be allowed to live as he is? Why?
  • What is considered to be “not normal” behaviour in our society? How does this compare with other societies and cultures? Investigate different rules and etiquette found in other countries.
  • What other stories, films, etc. can you think of where there is a mixture of reality and fantasy? Do you think this mix works well? Why (not)?
  • It could be argued that this film makes light of people with mental health issues? Do you agree with this? Or do you think the comedy is kind enough that it avoids this criticism?



  • Write from Paul’s point-of-view about a day in his life as a Hobbit: does he have to battle dragons and Orcs? What might those dragons and Orcs actually be? Are you able to imitate Tolkien’s style in your writing?
  • Write a handbook for Paul’s mum and friends, outlining how to make sure that they buy into his fantasy (for example, “Always pretend you can’t see him when he puts the ring on”.


  • This film was made for the 48 Hour Film Project and had to feature these elements: Genre - Fantasy / Fish out of water; Character - Dr McKenzie Menendez; Prop – Popcorn; Line of dialogue - "I love you". Devise and produce your own short film using these elements.
  • Make your own mockumentary about someone who believes they are something they are not.


  • Study the real film posters for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ films. Use the conventions to design a poster for this film in the same style. (You could also do this on a computer using screen shots.)


  • Make a list of the different types of character in ‘Lord of the Rings’ (elves, dwarves, Orcs, etc.) Explore the different ways that they would move.


  • Make a poster outlining the best ways to support someone with mental health issues.

Clip Details

Year of Production 2018
Genre Comedy
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education
Director Dominic Phillips
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Health, Culture / Society, Identity / Self, Intolerance / Misconceptions
Clip Length 05:52
Clip Length 05:52
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6