Medical emergency at Riz Ahmed’s ‘Sound Of Metal’ TIFF screening

Riz Ahmed, the British actor and rapper, at Time magazine’s annual “100 Most Influential People” gala at the Lincoln Center in New York, April 25, 2017. (Krista Schlueter/The New York Times)

The world premiere of Ris Ahmed’s “Sound of Metal” at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 6 was interrupted by a medical emergency. Variety reported that a man fainted about 20 minutes after the film about a drummer who loses his hearing began at the Winter Garden Theatre.

“Ushers with flashlights rushed to the man who had collapsed, as audience members near him pleaded to stop the film,” the Variety report said. But those who worked at the theater told Variety that the film kept playing, “as the man was escorted out of the theater in a wheelchair and taken to the hospital.”

Writer and director Darius Marder’s narrative feature debut techniques to simulate the deafness that its central character is experiencing, using loud screeching sounds and effects. Despite the interruption, the film received rave reviews.

Rolling Stone says that “the story of a drummer navigating life after deafness immerses you in a noiseless world — but it’s the star that makes it speak volumes loudly and clearly.” Indie Wire says Ahmed is “brilliant as a heavy metal drummer who goes deaf,” and Collider says the film is “a profound look at loss and change.”

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