In 2012, Anand Gandhi’s ‘Ship Of Theseus’ was hailed as “the hidden gem of the year” at the Toronto International Film Festival. The festival’s programme noted that the film explored “questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death”.
The large questions of life have always obsessed 33-year-old Gandhi. That’s evident from ‘Right Here, Right Now’, his first film, made in 2003. (The second part of the film can be viewed below.) The 30-minute film has 17 characters whose lives get entwined – for better and worse – by the actions of one person. These actions trigger a series of events, a perfect demonstration of the "butterfly effect", a theory that suggests that a small change in one place could have a large effect far away. It takes its name from the suggestion that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil could set off a tornado in Texas several weeks later.
The film is a technical marvel. As it describes itself, it is "29 minutes. 12 locations. 19 characters. 8 languages. 2 shots. 1 Cut."
“I made the film when I was 22,” said Gandhi. “It became the foundation of my world view and the way I perceived cinema as a medium. It shaped the way I saw its capability and it made me explore the possibilities of the medium.” Gandhi’s crew on the film was incredibly young, aged between 16 and 23. The film gathered a cult following and went on to win a clutch of awards
The film was an effort to grasp the intricate workings of the world and the confusion surrounding it, Gandhi said. “The journey that started with ‘Right Here, Right Now’ sort of came together with ‘The Ship Of Theseus’ as it is more holistic,” he said. “It was a miniscule percentage of what constituted ‘Ship Of Theseus’.”
Gandhi is now working on three documentaries as well as his next feature, ‘Tumbad’. 'Ship of Theseus' is available for free viewing and download here.