Algebra: A reunion of broken parts

Algebra is Jith Paul's narrative directorial debut.


Here's the international trailer captioned in a number of lanuguages. Click on the CC button in the footer for info/instructions.


The film


Screenings and Awards

Selected Press related to the film


More about the film

algebra (n.) — “1550s, from M.L. algebra, from Arabic al-jebr “reunion of broken parts” — Online Etymology Dictionary

“Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind And is therefore winged cupid painted blind”

Vincent is a contemporary visual artist in the prime of his career. Everyone loves his work. Raw and emotional it says we can’t or won’t. It reveals ugly truths.

He falls in love with Brigitte, a new model. He invites her into his studio. He can’t stop painting her. They end up making love one night against the backdrop of canvas and paint. He asks her “How do you define love?” In whispers she replies “It’s the thing I feel in the pores of my skin.” She’s alluring, nurturing and falls in love with him.

Late one night when Brigitte is sleeping a debilitating headache sends Vincent to the hospital emergency. A build-up of fluid pressure both in his eyes damaged his optic nerves. There were warning signs though. Seeing haloes around lights and momentary decreases in vision. His obsession had pushed everything else to the periphery.

His eyes can’t be saved. He becomes a painter without vision. In the downward spiral of his anger he shuns Brigitte and destroys all of his paintings. He cuts himself off from everything. Except staring into a broken mirror for hours. His psyche spits has he tries to wield his vision back from the dead but it’s no use. He can’t stop. Brigitte tries to reach into him and pull him through the wasteland. He rejects her again.

Desperate to reunite with his vision, he falls in love with the imaginary reflection of his face instead of dealing with the inevitability of his new life. So it goes…

“And therefore is love said to be a child Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.”


Behind the Scenes

Algebra trivia

  • • algebra (n.) — 1550s, from M.L. algebra, from Arabic al-jebr "reunion of broken parts" — Online Etymology Dictionary
  • • It is interesting to note that the word al-jebr used non-mathematically made its way into Europe through the Moors of Spain. There an algebrista is a bonesetter, or "restorer" of bones. A barber of medieval times called himself an algebrista since barbers often did bone-setting and bloodletting on the side. Hence the red and white striped barber poles of today. (src: Short Stories about Numbers – Rajnish Kumar)
  • • "I saw Malick's TO THE WONDER earlier this week. It's a beautiful, poetic and gutsy film and this is my response." This is how screenwriter Jennifer Mulligan started her pitch for the award-winning short film ALGEBRA.
  • • Number of locations for the film: 3
  • • The most popular name on set was Jennifer. Screenwriter Jennifer Mulligan, actresses Jennifer Ide, Jennifer Vallance and makeup artist Jennifer Roach.
  • • Paintings in the film are originals by the lead actor Sasha Chichagov.
  • • The rhyming couplets that open and close the film are from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • • Two takes of the emotional last exchange between Vincent and Brigitte were shot with two cameras rolling simultaneously, a RED Epic-X shooting at 5K and a RED Scarlet-X shooting at 4K with the same lens on each. Each one covered one of the actors, and was then switched around to cover the other, just in case they didn't match up visually. All four takes from both cameras were used and the final edit.

About Treepot Media

About Treepot Media

Treepot Media is a production company based in Ottawa, Canada, that produces and collaborates on documentaries, short films, music, event and promotional videos. Our latest projects include Drum with Us, an advocacy video for ACTRA National's Diversity Committee and the short films Jasmin et Macarons, a conversation between a woman and her two friends over afternoon tea and Before Me, a film that explores social intolerance and its impact on children.

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