«Through The Gate» by Ben Sibulkin

«Through The Gate» by Ben Sibulkin

Every activity, even the most misguided, requires a talent to be practiced. The thief’s talent is dexterity, acting unnoticed, going unnoticed as he cashes in every detail and strikes.
It is, therefore, no accident that the narrative of “Through the Gate,” directed by Ben Sibulkin, relies entirely on gestures, movements, and glances at the expense of dialogue, in a smooth flow of actions that is suddenly arrested at the film’s turning point.

The film follows a young thief who, accompanied by an older accomplice, sneaks into what appears to be an abandoned house with the intention of stealing. Much to his surprise, he encounters an older man who lives in solitude. As his accomplice makes a hasty escape, the young thief lingers in a transformative moment that challenges his perception of morality and rekindles his sense of humanity.

“Through the Gate” demonstrates the director’s interest in exploring the intricate relationship between morality and life choices, but also his skill in interweaving film narrative with introspective impressions, contrasting the thief’s life on the edge with the fragility and flexibility of a teenager’s understanding of right and wrong. Through the protagonist’s experiences, the film examines the blurred boundaries between guilt and growth, ultimately highlighting the transformative power of compassion and empathy.

The Central European beauty of Prague provides the backdrop for this narrative quest, with the city’s beautiful green spaces becoming integral elements of the story, seamlessly blending with the protagonist’s journey of self-discovery.

“Through the Gate” plays on the delicate balance between good and evil through a mature yet capable gaze of wonder. A testament to the power of cinema to provoke introspection and empathy, striking about this short film is the very young age of director Ben Sibulkin, who despite the small budget does not shy away from incisive directorial choices, starting with the 35 mm shot, and skillfully guides the viewer by immersing him or her in a non-trivial reflection on human bonds, one’s own moral compass and the profound impact of simple acts of kindness.