TIFF ’22: The Flying Sailor

Directed and animated by Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, The Flying Sailor takes us on a journey with a sailor who is present at an explosion that sends him flying through the air. Time slows down and we watch as the sailor, now completely naked after losing his clothes, becomes engulfed in smoke with objects that have also been displaced. He floats through in the chaos with his life flashing before his eyes before he reaches quiet in what I called the cosmos. Suddenly, he is not a man, but a spec in the grand scheme of things and he floats about peacefully as such before dropping back through the chaos again, down to the ground.

The film plays with themes of life and death, making us think existentially about what the significance of our lives might be. This is made more significant by the fact that Forbis and Tilby were inspired by the real story of a sailor in 1917 Halifax who survived an explosion that threw him a distance of 2km. There?s a lot more I could say about the film, but I think my discussion with Forbis and Tilby really already says it all.?I would encourage everyone to watch it on the big screen if they can because you really experience the film that way, and as Wendy Tilby says to watch it more than once so that you don?t miss any details.

To read our interview with the Forbes and Tilby, click here.

The Flying Sailor is now playing at TIFF ’22 as part of their Short Cuts Programme. For screening information, click here.

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