SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! When watching The Ticket, a short film from Bulgaria, you may not realize there’s no dialogue. It is a visual journey, and you are along for the ride while a young boy (Joan Fleming) makes his way across a city for a selfless act of love for his mother (Ivelina Stoyanova). However, the endeavor has one scary and colossal struggle that he must endure in order to achieve his purpose. He must face a bus ticket machine on each leg of his trip and confront the demon that it is.
A daily routine for commuters, city dwellers, and anyone who uses public transportation in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria, or, for that matter, any city in any country is presented as an almost life-threatening act for the young boy on a mission. The ticket box comes alive in freeform, live animation, which is hinted at in the film’s opening when the boy gathers his money and tickets to travel. His cash has an energy to it, leaving sparkle trails as he collects them from his book and pours through its pages for his stash.
“…a young boy makes his way across a city for a selfless act of love for his mother…”
It feels as if we are about to be part of a drug transaction, especially when we meet the connection for the boy to do his business: a girl with a non-descript bag (Desislava Nikolova). Obliviously, he planned his whole day to do this task. Only he has one more leg to his journey, which is a confrontation with the bus ticket controller (Ajit Shrivastva), who the boy must face before he can return home and bring his mother his bounty.
The Ticket is a well-crafted short film with a subtle but very well-suited soundtrack. Writer and director Kevork Aslanyan presents a heart-warming story and a great gift to mothers everywhere. It’s worth watching to see Joan Fleming’s ability to convey pain, grief, happiness, and fear separately and purposefully within the 10-minute runtime.
The Ticket screened at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.
"…you may not realize there’s no dialogue"