If you replace the parts of a ship is it the same ship? If you replace the parts of a human are they the same person they once were? Those are the questions that Anand Gandhi asks in his new film Ship Of Theseus.
Tonight a special preview of the director's cut version of 'Ship of Theseus' was held at the Projection Booth in East Toronto, prior to the final cut to be first run during The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) next month.
The film takes the viewer on a journey through character studies of a young stockbroker, a erudite monk and a photographer as they discover identity, justice, meaning and death.
Each story is separate and yet interwoven into the whole which is revealed at the end of the movie.
Aida Elkashef takes on the role of Aliya, a blind photographer whose natural intuitiveness seems to vanish when her sight is restored. Aliya's struggles, anger, hope and joys are quietly shown in a powerful performance.
Sohum Shah challenges the audience with his role as a young stockbroker who discovers the kidney tourism trade while nursing his ailing grandmother in hospital. He follows the trail of a stolen kidney learning about his own morality in the process.
Of the three character studies the most compelling is Neerar Kabi's portray of Maitreya, an animal activist erudite monk. Kabi, a stage actor for more than two decades, tackles the difficult task of not only physically having to lose a massive amount of weight for the role while showing the internal struggle of animal rights, drug companies and one's own health issues.
Director Anand Gandhi spent three years to craft the series of silences, dialogue and visuals. The timing of his piece leaves the audience with an understanding of the subject matter that only true art can.
The version of 'Ship of Theseus' shown tonight will have some refinements when it premieres next month. At almost three hours the film does drag in a few spots but by the time TIFF rolls it will have been cut into fine art.
'Ship of Theseus' is a must see during the film festival and beyond.